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Object of the Month: Olympic Torch

Honour the Greeks and the descendants of the ancient Gauls by getting ready for the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympics! At the Hellenic Museum we have a wide collection of Olympic torches from 1936 to 2016, and this month we'll take a special look at Australia's own torch from the 2000 Olympics, on display in our Flame of Olympia exhibition.

The 2000 Sydney Olympic Torch, on display at the Hellenic Museum.

Every Olympics, a new torch is designed to reflect the characteristics of the host city. For the Sydney Olympics, three images central to Australian culture are reflected in the torch's shape and colour: the curve of a boomerang, the sails of the Sydney Opera House, and the blue of the Pacific Ocean.

The flame was lit during a ceremony at the site of Olympia in Greece, where the ancient games were originally held. It then travelled to Athens and several Greek islands, before being taken to Guam, Palau, Micronesia, Nauru, the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Samoa, American Samoa, the Cook Islands, Tonga, and New Zealand. It then went on tour all around Australia, and on June 27th it was even taken underwater in the Great Barrier Reef!

You can even do some of your own research and see what the Paris 2024 torch looks like! Once you have found it, consider these questions:

Do you prefer the Sydney torch or the Paris torch?

What do you think the Paris torch represents?

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