By Nick Butler at the Main Media Centre in Nanjing

Thomas Bach alongside Chinese vice-premier Liu Yandong at the opening of the Olympic Museum ©IOC/Ian JonesA special ceremony took place this morning to mark the opening of the Nanjing Olympic Museum, timed to coincide with the first day of action here at the Summer Youth Olympic Games.

The Museum, located in the north of the Youth Olympic Village, is the fifth such recognition of the Olympics in China, after the China Sports Museum in Beijing, the Tianjin Dagon Olympic Museum, the Xiamen Olympic Museum, and the Samaranch Memorial in Tianjin.

It underlines China's ongoing commitment to the Olympic Movement, as shown by the Games here as well as by Beijing's bid to host the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2022. 

Among those present at the unveiling was International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach, his Presidential predecessor Jacques Rogge, IOC vice-president Yu Zaiqing and IOC Executive Board member CK Wu, who has been closely involved in the project.

Chinese vice-premier Liu Yandong was also in attendance, along with various other Jiangsu Provincial Government and Nanjing Municipal Government officials.

Jacques Rogge (second left) and Yu Zaiqing (left) were others in attendance at the opening today ©IOC/Ian JonesJacques Rogge (second left) and Yu Zaiqing (left) were others in attendance at the opening today ©IOC/Ian Jones

Covering a building area of 7,896 square metres and an exhibition area of 5,034 square metres, it will showcase nearly 600 objects, including nearly 400 photos, six sculptures 29 multimedia points and four interactive entertainment programmes.

These exhibits are either provided by Nanjing 2014, donated by the society or borrowed from other museums such as the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, the National Sports Museum and the Samaranch Memorial Museum.

A total of 736 donations have been received in recent months, including 201 items from 20 Olympic champions who are all natives of Jiangsu.

"The Nanjing Olympic Museum is a vision of the Nanjing City Government to honour the important legacy of the Youth Games and will be the first museum ever to open during the Olympic Games," CK Wu, who is also President of the International Boxing Association, told insidethegames.

"For myself, this is my fourth museum in China, and I am truly honoured to be a part of its creation.

"Although we were constrained by a timeline of only four to five months, I believe that in this short time we were able to complete the Museum with many of my important exhibits and invaluable collectibles to go on display in time for the highly anticipated grand Opening."

Former IOC chief Jacques Rogge posed behind a waxwork...of himself ©Nanjing 2014Former IOC chief Jacques Rogge posed behind a waxwork...of himself ©Nanjing 2014

The Museum is split into five sections, starting with the Olympic Knowledge Exhibition Hall to introduce the origin and the history of the Olympic Movement, the Olympic Family, and IOC leaders who have greatly influenced the Olympic Games.

This includes a manuscript written by Modern Olympics founder Baron Pierre de Coubertin, considered the most valuable treasure in the entire Museum.

This is followed by a "China and the Olympic Games" Exhibition Hall focusing on the evolution of the Olympic Movement in the world's most populous country, before another Hall highlighting Nanjing's contribution to the Games.

The final two sections consist of a three-dimensional Exhibition Hall and Interactive Experience Zone presenting a "visual and audio feast to show the passion of the Games and the vigour of the city", before a large multi-purpose Hall designed to host cultural and educational events, such as lectures and temporary exhibitions.

After the Closing Ceremony here on August 28, the Museum will be handed over to a specialised operation company and closed for a period, with an exhibition on Nanjing 2014 itself to be held as part of its reopening to the general public on a yet-to-be-confirmed date. 

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