Leading article: Art of competition

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The Independent Online

The 2012 Cultural Olympiad is taking shape. The projects that will make up these "cultural Olympics" have been chosen. And very exciting they sound too, from Alex Hartley's travelling island to Anthony McCall's column of clouds.

Not all are enthusiastic though. Some have complained of the £5.4m cost of the projects. Others wonder why the 2012 organisers are commissioning public art works.

Value for money is always going to be a subjective judgement. And any price tag will always appear too large for some. But aren't the Olympics supposed to be all about sport? No actually. In the ancient games, a vast tented village would spring up for the duration of the festival featuring plays, acrobatics, sword swallowing and dancing. The victors were immortalised by poets. Their feats were depicted on vases. The links between culture and sport are as old as the Olympics themselves. London is right to push ahead with this marriage of muse and muscle.

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