Ancient Olympia brought to life in new app to be developed in partnership with Microsoft

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Ancient Olympia, the ancient birthplace of one of the world’s largest sporting events, is to be showcased to people around the world through a new app, developed in partnership with Microsoft.

Greece’s Central Archaeological Council (KAS) recently approved the project for the development of a digital application that will offer a 3D presentation of the monuments and artefacts of the archaeological site and museum in Ancient Olympia, as they were in antiquity.

“It will give visitors to the archaeological site of Olympia and the Museum of Ancient Olympia the possibility of viewing three-dimensional representations of monuments, as they are estimated to have existed in antiquity based on scientific research,” the organisers of the project said.

Greek actress Xanthi Georgiou, left, playing the role of the High Priestess, holds the torch during the flame lighting ceremony at the closed Ancient Olympia site, birthplace of the ancient Olympics in southern Greece, Thursday, March 12, 2020. AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis

The development of the app will be carried out in conjunction with the Microsoft Corporation whose President Brad Smith agreed the deal after touring the ancient site during a visit to Greece.

The Central Archaeological Council will be working with assistance from Microsoft, whose President Brad Smith agreed the deal after touring the ancient site during a visit to Greece.

The tour will be based on scientific data provided by a special committee to be established by Greek Culture Minister Lina Mendoni.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis; Education Minister Niki Kerameos; Digital Governance Minister Kyriakos Pierrakakis; Culture Ministee Lina Mendoni and Microsoft President Brad Smith. Photo Source: primeminister.gr/

“The promotion of our cultural heritage through the use of modern technology is a basic desideratum and a political choice of the Ministry of Culture,” Culture Minister Lina Mendoni said.

“This sponsorshiphip, apart from highlighting the archaeological site and museum of Ancient Olympia, also contributes to the promotion of the values of harmony and peace that are strongly connected with the sanctuary of Olympia as host of the [ancient] Olympic Games.”

Read More: Coronavirus measures taken for Olympics torch-lighting ceremony in Olympia

The website and app will be developed with no additional cost from the Greek Government, constructed as part of Microsoft’s “AI for Good” Corporate Social Responsibility program.

The archaeological site was closed to visitors in March as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus although the flame for Tokyo 2020 was lit in the ruins of the Temple of Hera close to the ancient stadium.

It is planned that the archaeological site will be re-opened in late May.

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