This website was established way back in 2001 to promote cultural heritage, literature, music, performing arts, visual art and the philosophy of multiculturalism in Greece as the country prepared in earnest to host the first Olympic games of the 21st century. The prelude to the 2004 Olympic Games had a great significance to the people of Greece because the event was going to be hosted in the historical home.
There is rich history surrounding the event and its commencement which more than 3000 years ago in Greece. The games greatly declined in standards and were almost abolished after Greece was conquered by the Roman Empire in the mid if 2nd century B.C.
Modern Olympic Games took center stage in April 6, 1896 in Athens, Greece and attracted several countries to participate in the event. Fast forward in 2004, the event was to going to be held in its original home and thus the excitement among the citizens was high as they prepared to host the event. They prepared themselves to share the culture by participating in various events from the year 2001 when this site was established by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture to help bring the citizens together in promoting culture.
Below is more information about the website that I managed to grab from the wayback machine as was previously posted on the site:
The first Olympic Games of the 21st century and of the 3rd millennium, the 2004 Athens Olympics link the future and the past, as they seek to rediscover their true self in the land that brought them into being. With their return to Greece, the Olympic Games come back to their historical home and seek to give new meaning to the Olympic Ideals.
Every city and every country that undertakes to host the Olympic Games – the greatest sporting event in the world – can, indeed should, seek to draw attention to its cultural profile and highlight its most authentic aspects.
For other cities and countries that have hosted the Games, the cultural aspect of the event and its preparations were, of course, a very important, but nonetheless secondary, issue. However, for Athens and for Greece, the Cultural Olympiad spanning the four-year period from 2001 to 2004 is more than a secondary aspect of the preparation for the Olympics; rather, it is part of its essence.
For the great majority of Greeks, the Olympic Games to be held in Athens mark the end of a much longer event: the Cultural Olympiad. How, then, is the Cultural Olympiad to be summed up?
it is an international institution
it sends out a message to the world
it is a contest of cultural creativity, and;
it is a bridge that brings peace and reconciliation to the peoples of the world.
It is our ambition to make the Cultural Olympiad a permanent institution based in ancient Olympia. It will be a custodian of the ideals of peace, fair play, creativity, and the universality of man. The cultural Olympiad, working closely alongside the International Olympic Committee and the Athens 2004 Committee, is linked to UNESCO, the UN, and all the countries of the world. It is in this context that the International Foundation of the Olympiad was set up in 1998 by Juan Antonio Samarang, Federico Major, and the Greek minister of culture Evangelos Venizelos. Back in November 1997, the summit meeting of UNESCO unanimously welcomed co-operation with the Cultural Olympiad organised by Greece, while the Foundation was given official approval in early 1999.
The Cultural Olympiad is more than just another festival. Moreover, it is goes beyond any national and, indeed, Helleno-centric programme. It is an event of global significance which is based in Greece and on the 2004 Olympics.
While Greece is to be the geographical location of the Cultural Olympiad, it is hoped that the event will make its presence felt in all the continents of the world and, as far as possible, in all the countries that participate in the Olympics. Consequently, it is only natural that the Cultural Olympiad will focus on the symbolic and communicative significance of its cultural events, rather than simply on their quantity.
Therefore through Cultural Olympiad, there were key messages that needed be relayed to not only the Greeks but to all the people that live in this immense planet. A message of peace and unity. A message of togetherness.
The Cultural Olympiad sought to spread an important message to the world: a message of peace and social cohesion; a message that linked tradition and innovation, and innovation with vision – a modern message that spoke to the information society and the people that lived in it.
A key idea of the Cultural Olympiad 2001-2004 was the universality of civilization.
And its central message was the need for:
A CULTURE OF CIVILIZATIONS
In the eyes of the Cultural Olympiad, all the civilizations of the world were, and still are, important and they are all definable in terms of TIME, LOCUS and WORD.
Time takes us into history, history into memory, and memory into knowledge. The transition from myth to knowledge is a continual struggle for all civilizations in all ages.
Locus shapes our relationship with ourselves and with others, and it enables us to understand the local and the global, to move from the culture of the city to the culture of the planet. It is our locus, or place, that enables us to understand our civilization as a constant watershed. Nothing can be global if it is not genuinely local.
Word is the beginning. Word is one and the same with the body of our culture, just as Word as writing incarnates memory and creation. Word as narrative explains the world, and word as science overturns itself.
Therefore as I undertake the purpose of reviving this site, I will be sharing interesting topics about the essence of culture in spreading the messages of peace, creativity, culture, diversity, and unity through respect for difference among us. Watch this space.
Click on the topics below to access the already published posts, some of which I grabbed from the wayback machine as were initially published on this site.