President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, said the passing of composer and political activist Mikis Theodorakis on Thursday at the age of 96 is a great loss for Greek culture.
In a message on Twitter, President Anastasiades said “today we have lost the ecumenical Mikis Theodorakis.
We have lost Mikis of the resistance, the composer who inspired dreams and high goals”, adding the “loss is enormous for Greek culture”.
He described Theodorakis’ work as “great and large and will remain a foundation to guide the people forward”.
Composer and political activist Mikis Theodorakis, was a towering and prolific figure of the Greek and international music scene. During his lifetime he composed some of the world’`s most recognizable pieces of music, including the iconic ‘syrtaki’ dance from the film ‘Zorba the Greek’, which came to define Greece and Greek culture in the eyes of the world.
A legend in his own lifetime, Theodorakis was also very influential for his political action in support of democracy and his strong ties to the Left, including his resistance to the 1967-1973 military junta in Greece, which had him imprisoned and banned his music. He was instrumental in raising awareness of Greece`s plight during that time and fuelling the international protest movement for the return of democracy to Greece.
Prodromou says Theodorakis’ work is part of our life and culture
Education Minister Prodromos Prodromou in a message said that Theodorakis is a huge persona of the modern Hellenism and his rich work is part of our life and culture.
He said that he is a leading figure in the music and art scene but also in politics, pointing out his anti-dictatorship struggle but also his fights for Cyprus.
Theodorakis, the Minister said, maintained a a unique relationship with Cyorus for three quarters of the century and his composition of the “Chrysoprasino Fyllo” remains synonymous with Cyprus.
Theodorakis’ bond with Cyprus
Professor Costas Gouliamos, former rector of the European University spoke to the Cyprus News Agency about the relationship the great composer had with Cyprus which dated back to the Peace March he attended, right after the 1974 Turkish invasion of the island. He said that the ties with the island were tight and his words on the misfortunes of Cyprus and the ordeals of its people were strong and meaningful.
Gouliamos was a close friend with Theodorakis and they published together a book in 2018. He said that Theodorakis loved Cyprus and its people and his legacy will long live on.