Ancient Olympia threatened by forest fires

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Wednesday, 22 August, 2007 - 23:00 to Sunday, 26 August, 2007 - 23:00

Ancient Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic games, narrowly escaped destruction in the forest fires that swept Greece at the end of August. The fires destroyed swathes of forest surrounding the archaeological site but were halted before they reached the ruins of the ancient stadium and its adjoining museum, which houses many classical sculptures. However, some architectural fragments were damaged when a nearby storage area burnt down, and the site itself was affected by water and foam from the helicopters that put out the fires. Greek officials are now trying to reforest the site before it hosts the ceremony to light the Olympic flame in March 2008.