Thousands gather for composer Mikis Theodorakis’ funeral

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Composer Mikis Theodorakis was buried in Chania, Crete on Thursday. 

Theodorakis’ family was joined by political leaders and thousands of fans. 

They awaited overnight for his body to be ferried to the island, where the municipal band led the way as his hearse drove to Chania cathedral. 

Onlookers sang songs holding flowers and olive branches as Theodorakis’ casket was carried from a chapel to the cemetery near Chania. 

Chania, Crete island, Greece, Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021. (AP)

Greek musician Dimitris Basis sang the 1960 composition ‘Μάνα μου και Παναγιά’ (‘My Mother and Holy Mary’) before his casket was lowered. 

Greece’s prime minister and opposition party leaders also traveled to Theodorakis’ ancestral home in Galatas to attend the main funeral service. 

“We bid farewell to a great ecumenical Greek who served the values of freedom, justice, and unity of his countrymen,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said.

“It is a fitting farewell to quietly sing his songs today, to honor the memory of this great and unique composer.”

Chania, Crete island, Greece, Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021. (AP)

Theodorakis died last Thursday aged 96 in Athens. His body lay in state in a chapel of the Athens Cathedral for three days. 

He was integral to the Greek political and musical scene for decades, known internationally for his political activism and prolific music career, which included the score for the 1964 film ‘Zorba the Greek’. 

Source: Associated Press

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