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Ancient Olympia saved at last moment August 31, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greece News.
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The winged statue of victory stands in front of smoke from fires in the village of ancient Olympia near the birthplace of the Olympic Games, in southwestern Greece on last Sunday.

A massive effort by firefighters, assisted by water-dropping aircraft and firetrucks, succeeded in keeping a raging blaze away from the 2,800-year-old site, the holiest sanctuary in ancient Greece.

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Olympia ready for lighting of 2008 Olympic flame

The holy ceremony for lighting the flame for 2008 Olympic Games will definitely be held in Olympia next year, Georgios Koumoutsakos, spokesman for Greece’s Foreign Ministry, said. He said a fire that ravaged southern Greece had licked Ancient Olympia in the western province of Peloponnese. However, with help from fire brigade and locals, the Olympia archaeological site and museum were saved from any damage. The museum and site have reopened to public since Tuesday.

Revered as the holiest sanctuary in ancient Greece, Olympia in Peloponnese hosted the ancient Olympic Games fore more than a thousand years after they started in 776 B.C. Olympia first witnessed the holy ceremony for lighting the flame for the modern Olympics for the 1936 Berlin Games. Since then the ceremony for each subsequent quadrennial games and torch relay is held there.

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