'Opening ceremony rehearsal to proceed despite breach'

AFP
Aug 02, 2008 at 01:10pm IST

Beijing: A dress rehearsal for the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony was set to go ahead on Saturday, organisers said, despite security breaches that led to footage of an earlier practice leaking out.

The ceremony directed by Chinese film director Zhang Yimou had been shrouded in secrecy and the first rehearsal took place on July 11 with tight security deployed around the Bird's Nest Olympic Stadium.

However, a film crew from South Korea's private station SBS sneaked in and filmed the rehearsal and then broadcast parts of it on Tuesday before posting it on the Internet.

WATER WORKS: People pause to watch the dancing fountain at the Olympic Green housing the National Stadium, also known as the Bird's Nest.

Everyone working in the stadium had signed agreements with the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee (BOCOG) to keep what they saw confidential, the Xinhua state news agency reported.

The International Olympic Committee accused the South Korean station of stealing the footage and Beijing organisers said they were investigating.

Fireworks would light up the sky above the stadium again on Saturday and an audience would be allowed inside the stadium to watch the rehearsal, according to the Beijing organisers' official website.

A third and final rehearsal is scheduled for Tuesday.

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