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Beijing Kicks off Olympic Cultural Festival

The first Olympic Cultural Festival was inaugurated Sunday in Beijing, the host city of the 2008 Olympic Games.

At the inauguration held at the Millennium Monument, an outdoor stage in western Beijing, a total of 2,008 children used red scarves and paintings to form a huge 2008 Olympic emblem which looks like a lively runner and also mimics the Chinese character "jing" meaning Beijing.

"The Olympic Cultural Festival is an important part of Beijing's preparations for the Games," said Liu Qi, president of the Beijing's Olympic Organizing Committee (BOCOG).

"We hope to promote the concept 'People's Olympics' and showcase the profound Chinese culture through this event," he added.

Beijing has pledged to stage the 2008 Games under the theme of "Green Olympics, High-tech Olympics and People's Olympics."

The festival, which lasts through September 30, will feature exhibitions of the Olympic emblems and posters and a series of mass activities in the Chinese capital city.

Meanwhile, symposiums on Olympic Games image design and cultural innovation, torch relay, Olympic education, and utilization of digital technology for the Olympic Games, will alsobe held with scholars and experts from home and abroad attending.

The Olympic Cultural Festival will be held annually in the following five years before the 2008 Olympics.

(Xinhua News Agency September 22, 2003)

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