Olympic torch spends night at Acropolis ahead of handover to Paris organizers

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The flame that will burn at the Olympics is spending the night at the ancient Acropolis in Athens, a week before its handover to Paris organizers. During a break in heavy rain late Friday, a torchbearer lit a cauldron in front of the 2,500-year-old Parthenon, on the citadel that dominates the Athens skyline and is Greece’s top tourist attraction. The flame will stay there until Saturday morning, when the champagne-colored torch travels to Delphi, an important ancient Greek religious center, before reaching the town of Volos in central Greece. Ceremoniously lit on Tuesday at the ruined birthplace of the ancient Games, Olympia in southern Greece, the flame is being carried around Greece by a string of torchbearers. Parts of the relay are being made by ferry or plane. The flame will be delivered to French officials next Friday at the renovated ancient marble stadium where the first modern games were held in 1896. At Athens’ port of Piraeus it will board the Belem, a French three-masted sailing ship — built in 1896 — to be transported to France.