International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

ILLUSTRATING THE OLYMPIC GAMES THE ATHENS CASE (1896, 2004) FROM NIKOLAOS GYZIS TO DIMITRIS PAPA├ĆOANNOY
Panagiota Papanikolaou

Abstract
Greece is the smallest country to have organised Olympic Games twice, in 1896 and in 2004. The first time was a historically important event, which originated from people who adored Ancient Greece and its achievements in both the fields of sport and culture. Their revival signalled the beginning of a new understanding of Man, introducing the principles of mutual respect and universalism, excellence and sportsmanship. For Greece, its second Olympic Games represented an opportunity to enhance its national identity and to promote its image abroad. The setting was entirely different in 2004. Athens had the appearance of a modern city, the Games were considered to be particularly successful, and this became a source of national pride for its inhabitants. From the outset, the modern Olympic Games have been associated with culture, in line with the vision of the man who inspired them, Pierre de Coubertin. The Cultural Olympiad is the great legacy to the culture of the Olympic Games. At the same time, all visual material relating to the organisation and the carrying out of the Games has adopted aesthetic rules and has had an undeniable artistic character. There are several such items ranging from posters and medals to pictograms and commemorative stamps. This paper lists, evaluates and examines materials which constitute, from all points of view, evidence of the Olympic cultural legacy.

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