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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-11-27

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Olympic torch-lighting ceremony held for Turin Winter Games
  • [02] PM:Turkey's EU prospects depend on respect of European values
  • [03] Exhibition honors Hollywood art director Tavoularis

  • [01] Olympic torch-lighting ceremony held for Turin Winter Games

    The Olympic flame was passed to a first torchbearer at the ancient Olympia archaeological site on Sunday after clouds scattered over the Peloponnese sky following days of rain, thereby officially beginning the countdown for the 2006 Winter Games of Turin.

    The flame was lit at the site a day before the official ceremony, with Sunday's torch expected to be turned over to Turin organisers on Dec. 6 during a ceremony at Athens' U-shaped Panathinaiko Stadium, the venue for the first modern Games in 1896 and the finish line for the marathon race during the 2004 Athens Games.

    Similar to the routine of previous torch-lighting ceremonies, Sunday's affair was a solemn and well-rehearsed event, with a local actress dressed as an ancient high priestess offering a traditional entreaty to the mythical Olympus gods of Apollo and Zeus. The flame is usually lit with a concave steel mirror to focus the sun's rays on a silver torch.

    The Olympic flame will reach Turin on Feb. 10 to mark the opening of the 20th Winter Games after an Italy-wide torch relay begins in Rome on Dec. 8.

    Among the dignitaries at Sunday's ceremony were Turin Organising Committee President Valentino Castellani, Greek Alternate Culture Minister Fani Palli-Petralia, Hellenic Olympic Committee (EOE) Minos Kyriakou, who also relayed a message by IOC President Jacques Rogge, along with a bevy of elected officials

    ANA photo/ O. Panayiotou

    [02] PM:Turkey's EU prospects depend on respect of European values

    MADRID - Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis again outlined Athens' standing policy vis-a-vis neighbouring Turkey's closely watched European prospects in an interview with a Spanish mass daily, as the premier arrived in the Iberian peninsula to attend a Euro-Mediterranean Summit in Barcelona.

    "If Turkey truly wants to approach the European Union it must respect European principles and values, as well as meeting proposals by the '25'," Karamanlis is quoted as saying by the paper "ABC", which published the interview under the headline "Combating terrorism should not violate the UN Charter".

    In other statements, the Greek prime minister reminded that Greece - the only EU and NATO member-state in the wider east Mediterranean region -- supports the European prospects of other countries in SE Europe, given that regional states will fully implement European principles and values, while adding that human rights will also be absolutely respected.

    "That is why we support Turkey's European course, one that is headed towards Europe, one that gradually adopts Europe's acquis communautaire and operates on the basis of these principles," the Greek PM said, adding that respect of such principles, values and International Law by Ankara will be clearly demonstrated in the latter's behaviour vis-a-vis its neighbours.

    [03] Exhibition honors Hollywood art director Tavoularis

    Production designs from the incomparable Hollywood epics &quot;Godfather I and II&quot; as well as &quot;Apocalypse Now&quot;, among many others, went on display at a Thessaloniki museum over the weekend as part of an exhibition honouring veteran motion picture art director Dean Tavoularis.

    The exhibition, held at the Macedonian Museum of Modern Art, brought the Greek-American Tavoularis, his French actress wife Aurore Clément as well as legendary director Francis Ford Coppola to the northern Greek port city on the sidelines of the 46th annual Thessaloniki Film Festival.

    The 73-year-old Lowell, Mass. native along with Clément and Coppola -- who was accompanied by his family, including actress/director daughter Sofia -- will be honoured later on Saturday evening with the Golden Alexander Award by the film festival's organisers.

    Tavoularis, an Oscar-winning (co-shared for &quot;Godfather II&quot;) production designer and film director since the late 1960s, referred to his initial reservations during a first meeting with Coppola in the early 1970s, when the latter was looking for a production designer for the &quot;Godfather&quot;.

    Speaking at a standing-room-only press conference, Tavoularis explained that a young Francis Ford Coppola was bent on filming a &quot;gangster movie&quot; on-site in New York City and not in a movie studio. He quickly added that the meeting proved to be &quot;decisive&quot; for his life and career.

    The prolific art director later met his wife on the set of &quot;Apocalypse Now&quot;, Coppola's subsequent masterpiece.

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