Greece venue to glow in ‘marble’llous glory


Greece Athens Panathenaic Stadium new lighting system Image: Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC)

The Panathenaic Stadium in Athens, Greece, has received a new lighting system and the same was inaugurated on the night of March 29th, 2021. It was a low-key event but a symbolic ceremony graced by the President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou and the President of the Greek Olympic Committee Spyros Kapralos. The Greek company George Tellos has implemented the lighting system.

The ‘Hellenic Olympic Commission’ stated that the decision to install a new lighting system in the Panathenaic Stadium was taken by the Greek Olympic Committee and now with the new lighting system in place the Kallimarmaro (read Panathenaic Stadium which means ‘beautiful marble’) will shine even more bright as it stands witness to the hallowed history of Athens.

The 45,000-capacity Panathenaic Stadium or Kallimarmaro is a multipurpose stadium in Athens, Greece. One of the main historic attractions of Athens, it is the only stadium in the world built entirely of marble.

The popular Greek singer-songwriter Monika Christodoulou opened the event with the number ‘Saving the World’ to the accompaniment of piano, followed by the presentation of the new lighting system with President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach shouting the slogan of French historian Pierre de Coubertin ‘Olympism To Give Light’.

Charles Pierre de Frédy, Baron de Coubertin was a French educator and historian, founder of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and its second President. He is known as the father of modern Olympic Games.

The ‘Hellenic Olympic Commission’ further stated that strict COVID-19 protocols were put in place and the event was held with the public not being allowed to attend the same keeping in mind the dangerous coronavirus situation in almost all over the globe. The event was also attended by the Minister of Culture Lina Mendoni, Mayor of Athens Costas Bakogiannis and the Deputy Minister of Sports Lefteris Avgenakis. It was a small but august gathering.

The President of EOE (Hellenic Olympic Committee) Spyros Kapralos pointed out, “This historic stage is the bridge of the games of antiquity with the modern Olympic Games, maintaining their timelessness and universality in the eternal journey of time. So, the legacy that Zappas entrusted to the Greek Olympic Committee is great and we, the younger ones, have a duty to carry it forward. At the same time, it is our duty to continue to highlight the rich history of the stadium, its role, significance, and its timeless beauty. This includes the new lighting arrangement that we have set up which promises to shine bright on our historical monument in the center of Athens. I would like to thank not only my colleagues at the Hellenic Olympic Committee for deciding to set up a new lighting system in the Kallimarmaro, but also all those who helped to bring the idea to fruition and the same fills us with a sense of pride. Not only because this historic monument will tower over everything else in all its light and glory, but also because, as time demands, it will also contribute to reducing both energy consumption and light pollution.”

Added Kapralos, “I want to believe that the new lights will continue to brighten the path of the Panathenaic Stadium in the future, illuminating the glorious moments which not only Greek sports will get to enjoy, but also the City of Athens and our homeland.”

Stated President Bach, “Greece gave birth to the Olympic Games twice, once in Ancient Olympia and once here, at the Panathenaic Stadium in 1896. The Greeks greatest gift to mankind is the Olympic Games. With the new lighting system in place at the Panathinaikos Stadium, this heritage will glow in all its resplendence and will illuminate the world. Seeing this emblematic place with the new light, mixed culture, history and tradition with the modern era and the mission of the current Olympic movement gives me great pleasure. The mission is to make the world a better place to live in through sport. In addition to the glow, the new lighting has made a sharp statement on sustainable technology. We are proud that the United Nations considers sports and the Olympic movement to be important factors for sustainable development. The Panathinaikos Stadium will not only be emblematic for Olympic history but will pave the way for a better future, with sustainable development, with peace initiatives and with greater solidarity in sports. Let the Panathinaikos Stadium shine in the new spirit of Olympism.”

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