Object ID
2009.1.8
Object Name
Medal, Commemorative
Date Created
1960
Event
1960 Rome Olympics
Material
Bronze
Object Entities
Bronze, Cast (created by)
Spanakos, Nick (owned by)
Spanakos, Pete (is related to)
Spanakos, Nick (is related to)
Object Description
The participation medal is decorated on both sides. The obverse face of the medal protrudes out from the coin while the reverse face retreats into the metal. The obverse face shows a nude female running with a torch in hand with the 5 linked rings of the Olympics handing behind her. The figure comes out from the coin and her left hand seems to go back into the scene's depth and overlap with the rings. The reverse side has a more obscure image its is a series of rounded shapes made by outlining depressions in the metal with raised edges. These raised outlines are the flattened out "V" shape that denotes flying birds. At the base of the scene is a series of curves that signify the stands in the stadium. The edge of this sides bears the words"Giochi Della XVII Olimpiade- Roma MCMLX" which translates to the 17th Olympic Games- Roma 1960. There are three prongs of metal that protrude from the bottom of the medal. These may have originally been attached to something and then cut.
Origin
This is a Participation medal from the 1960s Rome Olympics. The medal was donated by boxer Peter Spanakos. Peter Spanakos was a successful boxer in the 1950s and '60s in New York City and Chicago but he never made it to the Olympics. Pete's brother Nick competed in the 1960 Olympics as a boxer but lost in the first round to Boris Nikanorov representing the Soviet Union. This medal no doubt was originally Nick's. Mohammed Ali won boxing's light-heavyweight gold medal at this Olympics. Less influentally, Eddie Crook won the gold medal for Middleweight and Wilbert McClure won the gold medal for Light Middelweight. According to The Official Report of the Organizing Committee of the 1960 Olympic Games: "The commemorative medal of the Games was the work of Prof. Emilio Greco, who designed it according to his own personal ideas, avoiding any form of complicated symbolism and turning directly to the expressive clarity of a purely figurative style. On the face of the medal, the sculptor modelled a female nude running and bearing the Olympic torch with the Olympic rings in the background. On the back of the medal the artist depicted a flight of eagles rising from the Olympic Stadium of Rome and disappearing in the sky. This original conception at the same time symbolises the victories in the Olympic Games and their echo throughout the world."
Rights and Reproduction
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Citation
Medal, Commemorative, 1960, National Hellenic Museum, https://collections.nationalhellenicmuseum.org/Detail/objects/9752. Accessed 11/24/20.