Pill-box, International Olympic Committee
This pill-box has significance as a record of the role of the Powerhouse Museum in an aspect of the Sydney Olympic Games, which were held from 15 September to 1 October 2000. The design on its lid refers to Nag Arnoldi's sculpture 'Olympic Door of the Year 2000', which the International Olympic Committee commissioned to mark the new millennium. Copies of the sculpture were passed to the presidents of 199 National Olympic Committees, to be presented to their Heads of State. The sculpture symbolised human understanding, peace, prosperity and well-being.
The pill-box was presented to the Director of the Museum in acknowledgement of conservation work on the official Olympic flag undertaken by Museum staff. It has the potential to communicate in exhibitions and publications about the Games, and complements the Museum's collection of Olympic materials created by the Olympic Coordination Authority, SOCOG and other New South Wales organisations.
With its five rings signifying the union of five continents, the Olympic flag was designed by Baron Pierre de Coubertin and first used at the 1920 Games in Antwerp. At each Games, the flag is carried into the arena during the opening ceremony and flies on the flagpole until the Games are over. At the end of an Olympics, the mayor of the host city presents the Olympic flag to the mayor of the next host city, in whose town hall it is kept until the next Olympic Games. When the official flag was handed to Sydney's Lord Mayor Frank Sartor at the conclusion of the Atlanta Games in 1996, it symbolised the passing of Olympic responsibilities to Sydney. The flag was displayed briefly at Sydney Town Hall before being secured in a vault. The Powerhouse Museum's Preservation staff carried out conservation work on the official Olympic flag prior to the Games in 2000.
In 2001, the NSW Government donated the Sydney 2000 Games Collection to the Powerhouse Museum to record the work of the Government bodies that planned and implemented the Games. The collection consists of over 700 objects, including costumes and props, designs and models, flags and banners, relay torches, sports equipment, road signage, uniforms, pins, medals and stamps. The pill-box complements this collection.