Evaggelos Zappas

Evaggelos Zappas was born in 1800 in a village at Epirus, Northern Greece; in 1831 he emigrated to Bucharest, where he became one of the most important and wealthy land-owners.

Influenced by an article of the Greek poet, Alexandros Soutsos, in which he claimed the need of reviving the Olympic Games in the modern era, Zappas decided to propagate the idea and finance the effort. After his agreement with the Greek Government, the Zappian Olympic Games, a mixed competition of both agricultural/industrial and athletic character, were founded. Zappas financed the erection of a building for the agricultural and industrial exhibits, as well as the excavation and restoration of the ancient Panathenaic Stadium in Athens.

Zappas died in 1865, leaving his immense fortune for the benefit of the modern Olympics with the purpose to be held every four years "in the manners of our ancestors". According to his will, his body was buried in Romania, and his skull at the new Olympic building located in Zappeion, Athens. Visitors can still see the inscription at Zappeion: "Here lies the head".

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