Joint effort by Greece and France to defend the Olympic Spirit

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Their common position for the Olympic Spirit to be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List was expressed by Greece and France during a meeting organized by the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC), with the participation of the representatives of the two countries, at the premises of the HOC.

Guy Drut, representative of the French Delegation, member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Special Envoy for the IOC to UNESCO stressed that France, who started this endeavor, asked for the aid of the Greek part.

The Olympic medalist in athletics said: “The aim of this meeting is to inscribe on the UNESCO World Heritage List the concept of the Olympic Spirit and we, obviously, want the aid of Greece. Greece could not but be connected with this procedure, we all understand that. It is a difficult endeavor, in the framework of the Olympic Games that will be held in 2024 in Paris and we were warmly accepted by the UNESCO, when we began the procedure. In order to make this happen, at an international level, the Olympic Spirit must be inscribed on the Cultural Heritage List of every country, Greece, Luxembourg, or any other country”.

Apart from Guy Drut, the French delegation was also composed of Philippe Vinogradoff, French Ambassador for Sport and Johann Pellicot, from the Organizing Committee “Paris 2024”.

The Greek side was composed by the HOC President Spyros Capralos, the Secretary General Manolis Kolympadis and the representatives of the Ministry of Culture, Yiannis Drinis and Elena Bazini.

Mr. Capralos said: “We are very pleased that France has taken this initiative and will shall also try to support it as the Olympic Games were born in Greece and any concept connected with them is also intertwined with our country. I am sure that the cooperation of the two countries will be excellent and I hope for a positive result, which will contribute decisively to the protection of the Olympic Spirit”.

The effort to inscribe the Olympic Spirit on the UNESCO Immaterial World Heritage List was launched on 18 September 2018 and aims at the beginning of 2020 to be included in the Immaterial Heritage List of many countries so that in 2021 the application could submitted to UNESCO.