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Sotiris Blatsis | profile | all galleries >> The Other Photography - people, places, obsessions, Life! >> Ancient Olympia: the rejuvenation of an ancient glory after a modern shame tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Ancient Olympia: the rejuvenation of an ancient glory after a modern shame

On 26 August 2007, the idyllic scenery of Ancient Olympia became ashes to ashes in a huge blaze which cremated thousands of acres, dozens of villages and about forty five people throughout the greater Elia district. The sports field of an ancient glory now looks like the battlefield of a modern shame. Nothing is there to remind of the Kronion Hill, while the blaze burnt even the trees around the ancient Stadium, as well as many buildings in the nearby village of Miraka.

About two months later, I visited Olympia on a rainy day. Having been there for a number of years, as a discussion group coordinator during the annual Main Sessions of the International Olympic Academy, the images of total destruction stained my memories. Now, facing a very tight deadline, strong efforts are being made as Ancient Olympia must rejuvenate for the Olympic Flame lighting ceremony, in March 2008.
Defeat behind Victory (Nike)
Defeat behind Victory (Nike)
Hope springs eternal
Hope springs eternal
The Kronion Hill remnants
The Kronion Hill remnants
Wire-netting cannot hide ugliness
Wire-netting cannot hide ugliness
The International Olympic Academy was once invisible from this point
The International Olympic Academy was once invisible from this point
A non-functioning automatic fire extinguishing network...
A non-functioning "automatic fire extinguishing network"...
...leads to such results.
...leads to such results.
The corridor that was surrounded by cypress trees,, osiers and oleanders...
The corridor that was surrounded by cypress trees,, osiers and oleanders...
Arising from greenery once...
Arising from greenery once...
...now arising within ashes.
...now arising within ashes.
Anti-corrosion fortifications
Anti-corrosion fortifications
Black landscapes all around
Black landscapes all around
A prosperous taverna, back in the old days
A prosperous taverna, back in the old days
Could not withstand the destruction
Could not withstand the destruction
Wiped out in seconds...
Wiped out in seconds...
...leaving only bare walls.
...leaving only bare walls.
Beton non-armee
"Beton non-armee"
God's Will?
God's Will?
End of the village. Literally.
End of the village. Literally.
Haunting skeleton
Haunting skeleton
A dangerous curve for History
A dangerous curve for History