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Olympic drums for sale

THE fou drums with which performers spelled out the countdown numbers at the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games are to be auctioned off from this month, according to the China Beijing Equity Exchange.

A total of 2,008 traditional-style drums, fitted with light pads, illuminated the Bird's Nest stadium with huge countdown numbers formed by individual performers.

The first batch of 1,000 drums will be sold in packages on March 8 in the exchange. The recommended price for a 10-unit package is 11,000 yuan (US$1,608) to 13,000 yuan, while there would also be 20-unit, 30-unit and 50-unit packages, said the exchange's spokesman Liang Yu.

The remaining drums might be auctioned individually so that more people could collect a significant Olympic memento, said Liang.

As registration hadn't begun, it was not known who would be interested in the bidding, but he believed potential bidders could be collectors, hotels, companies and sports organizations.

Up to a tenth of the drums will be available through online auction, with prospective buyers able to register with the Jinmajia online bidding system, so as to allow broader public participation, said Liang. The system is tailored for the disposal of Olympic-related assets.

Many people have expressed interest in the drums since the organizing committee for the games entrusted the exchange to auction Olympic-related materials and objects last August, said Liang.

More than 500,000 items have already been sold.


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