Tributes flow for famed composer Mikis Theodorakis

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Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis is being remembered today for scoring the film ‘Zorba the Greek’ and his defiance during military rule. 

Mikis Theodorakis passed away in Athens aged 96 following years of heart problems. 

His death was announced on state television and prompted authorities to declare three days of national mourning in Greece. 

The Greek flag was flown half-mast at the Acropolis, while parliament observed a minute’s silence following news of his passing.

Tributes poured in from across the political spectrum. 

President Katerina Sakellaropoulou hailed him as a “pan-Hellenic personality” who was also “a universal artist, an invaluable asset of our musical culture”. 

“He was given a rich and fruitful life that he lived with passion, a life dedicated to music, the arts, our country, and its people, dedicated to the ideas of freedom, justice, equality, and social solidarity.”

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis says “his voice was silenced and with him, the whole of Hellenism was silenced”. 

Culture Minister Lina Mendoni 
Mayor of Instanbul, Ekrem Imamoglu

Theodorakis is best known for his film scores to Zorba the Greek (1964), Serpico (1973), and Z (1969). 

He wrote and composed over a thousand songs in his 60-year career. 

He was also a symbol of resistance to the 1967-74 military dictatorship in Greece, which arrested, imprisoned, exiled Theodorakis, and banned his music.  

He was inspired by Marxist ideas and became a politician between 1981 and 1993 and was highly recognized and respected in his later years. 

His body will lie in repose for three days next week at Athens Cathedral. He is survived by Myrto, his daughter, Margarita, his son, Yorgos, five grandchildren, and a great-grandchild.

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