September 21

Protests mar unveiling of Louis statue

first_imgDemonstrators marred the unveiling of the statue of Olympian Louis Spiridon – Greek Olympian and winner of the first modern Olympic marathon in 1896 – in Melbourne last Friday. The Berwick residents opposed the statue being erected because, according to them, the Olympian had nothing to do with the council area, nor had any connection to Australia. The Council of Casey rejected their petitions and went ahead with the statue. Approximately twenty demonstrators went along to the unveiling of the statue holding placards such as ‘Residents say NO to Spiridon statue in this park’, only 11 votes for and 1000 against’, and ‘Spiridon who?’ The statue, funded by both the State Government and the Australian Hellenic Society, was placed alongside that of fellow marathon runner and Berwick local Edwin Flack, on Berwick’s High Street. The two athletes competed against one another in the 1896 Athens Games, with Flack leading the race to then be overtaken by Louis who went on to win the marathon. The statue of Louis is being erected in commemoration of the close friendship between the two gold medallists. “The statue celebrates the proud Olympic heritage that Australia and Greece share,” said City of Casey Mayor Cr Amanda Stapledon during the unveiling ceremony. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more