The Critical 'I'

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Monday, August 09, 2004

ATHENS OLYMPICS SECURITY, 1896
seems like old times
If it weren't for the "birthplace of the Games" thing, Athens would probably never get an Olympics. Today's security concerns echo those from over a century ago, when Athens' big problems during the first modern Games wasn't Mideast terrorists, but thieves and kidnappers:
At the start of 1896, the authorities in Athens learned from reliable sources that pickpockets from Istanbul, Cairo and Alexandria were preparing to invade the Greek capital to take advantage of "the good business opportunities" which the Olympics would provide for their deft fingers.

But they weren’t the only source of worry for those in charge of security. Few in Greece had forgotten the so-called "Marathon murders", in which, in 1870, three Britons were kidnapped and killed by Greek thieves.