NEWS

2004 mascots ‘parody’ gods

A group that preserves devotion to the ancient Greek gods is using a modern weapon – the lawsuit – against the mascots of the 2004 Olympics. Their claim is that naming the figures after ancient deities «savagely insults» their religion. The group wants 3 million euros and a possible ban on the figures. The mascots, called Athena and Phevos, are cone-shaped caricatures based on a 7th-century-BC terracotta doll believed to be one of the first Greek toys. Phoebus, another name for Apollo, was the god of light and music. Athena was the goddess of wisdom and protectress of Athens. Panayiotis Marinis, head of the Greek Society of the Friends of the Ancients, objects to «two deities presented in the form of a doll intended as a toy, entertainment or fun.» «The two mascots… savagely insult our religion and identity,» said the lawsuit, which was filed June 12 and obtained by The Associated Press yesterday. «We want to see the gods as they are presented in statues, reliefs, etc. and not as parodies,» it added. Marinis is asking the court to block the «offense» – in an apparent attempt to pull the mascots off the shelves. (AP)