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    MOSCOW, March 3, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - Greece considers the hosting of the 2004-Olympic Games as a "historical challenge, complicated by the grand scale of the event," Greek Ambassador to Russia Dimitrios Paraskevopoulos disclosed on Wednesday in Moscow at the opening of the book fair "Olympic Rings above the World." "It is a historical challenge for Greece to host Olympic Games in its original birthplace and the challenge is complicated by the scale of the event. We are the smallest country that ever hosted the Games and we are the first country-organizer, which encountered the necessity to provide the best level of security, especially in the light of the recent events after the terrorist attacks in the USA," the Greek Ambassador said.

    The opened exhibition tells the visitors in particular about the cultural past of Greece, which gave birth to Olympic Games.

    According to Mr. Paraskevopoulos, at first the Olympics were not only a sports event. "It was a triad: sports-peace-culture. It is actually an ideal, which the human race inherited after the ancient Greek experience," the Ambassador added.

    "This is truly an Olympic ideal, the one we strive to show at the Games in Greece," Mr. Paraskevopoulos said.

    The book fair "Olympic Rings above the World" opened on Wednesday in the Russian State Library, which was previously known as the Lenin State Library. The fair exhibits books in Russian and foreign languages about the ancient Olympic Games.

    The exhibits were presented by the Greek Ministry of Press and Communications and the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC). Besides the printing exhibits the visitors will also see Olympic symbols, medals, diplomas and awards.

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