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Auteur Zhang ready for Athens surprise show
Updated: 2004-08-28 00:59

"The world gave me eight minutes, and I will give the world a surprise," said Chinese director Zhang Yimou, who is gearing up for a show at the closing ceremony of the Athens Olympics.

Zhang will have a chance to show off his talent on Sunday at the Olympic Stadium, when some 130 Chinese artists put on an eight-minute show, CCTV reported.

The world-famous film director said he hopes to surprise spectators.

"The show is mainly dancing and movement that everyone will be able to understand. My aim is to show the world that Chinese culture is also international," Zhang told CCTV.

The show will mark a meaningful moment for China, as it prepares to host the next Olympics in 2008.

"The national anthem will be played for about 49 seconds. Then Athens will hand-over the Olympic flag to Beijing officials. And then the eight-minute show will be held," said Jiang Xiaoyu, vice-president of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad.

This is the second time director Zhang Yimou has worked on an Olympics-related programme. In 2001, he directed a short film to promote Beijing's Olympic bid.

Well-known for his feature films, including "Raise the Red Lantern" and "Hero," Zhang will also direct the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics in four years.

A batch of rare souvenir badges including 2008 gold coins, 3,992 made of silver and 6,000 minted from bronze will be sold on Sunday to mark the herald the arrival of the Olympic flag in Beijing.

The souvenir badges will be on sale at Beijing's Olympic Franchise stores.

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