An event which launched the new lighting system of the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens, also known as the Kallimarmaro, was held on Monday evening.
The event was attended by President Katerina Sakellaropoulou and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach.
The Greek national anthem and the Olympic anthem marked the occasion shortly after 8:00 PM, which was attended also by Hellenic Olympic Committee President and member of the International Olympic Committee Spiros Kapralos.
The new lighting system, comprising over 3,600 LED bulbs, will highlight the marble used to construct the stadium, home of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.
Officials said the new lighting will reduce light pollution by over 70% and slash the stadium’s energy requirements by half.
Earlier on Monday Bach opened a digital exhibition at the entrance hall of the Hellenic Olympic Committee HQ at Chalandri, Athens, which presents all contemporary Greek Olympic Games athletes, alongside historic footage of the Olympic Flame.
The Stadium, one of the main historic attractions of Athens, is the only stadium in the world built entirely of marble.
A stadium was built on the site of a simple racecourse by the Athenian statesman Lykourgos (Lycurgus) in c. 330 BC, primarily for the Panathenaic Games.
It was rebuilt in marble by Herodes Atticus, an Athenian Roman senator, by 144 AD, with an astounding capacity of 50,000 seats.
After the rise of Christianity in the 4th century, the stadium was largely abandoned.
The stadium was excavated in 1869 and hosted the Zappas Olympics in 1870 and 1875.
After being refurbished, it hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the first modern Olympics in 1896 and was the venue for 4 of the 9 contested sports.
It was used for various purposes in the 20th century and was once again used as an Olympic venue in 2004.
It is the finishing point for the annual Athens Classic Marathon. It is also the last venue in Greece from where the Olympic flame handover ceremony to the host nation takes place.
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