Mikis Theodorakis: mourning a great Greek

He was a composer, conductor, songwriter, politician and activist. He achieved world fame with the film music for Zorba the Greek and was revered as a folk hero in his homeland. Mikis Theodorakis died last Thursday in Athens aged 96. The government ordered three days of national mourning, and his coffin has been laid out in Athens Cathedral so people can pay their last respects.

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Ta Nea (GR) /

Farewell with a warning bell

Ta Nea writes:

“Theodorakis leaves a huge void that is very difficult to fill. Yet, at the same time he leaves behind a legacy of unity. At the end of the day, everyone bid Mikis farewell and is mourning him. He is not 'theirs'. He is 'ours'. That final legacy of unity for his compatriots is the best epilogue for a full life, which was not without its contradictions, but it also constitutes an admonition for how we should face the future. At a moment when the pandemic has divided society and political party leaders are calling each other 'liar' or 'con artist', this warning bell is necessary. Mikis rang it as he bid us farewell.”

Kathimerini (GR) /

An exemplary compatriot

Theodorakis had all the qualities Greeks identify with most, Kathimerini writes:

“A country that has never been in the centre of power, a nation that persistently doubts those who seek to govern it, found in Mikis Theodorakis the representative of all its virtues and paradoxes. The beauty of his music, his personal courage and charisma, his unwavering sense of morality, his faults and his charm made him one of the few Greeks who was able to win the recognition and love of all his countrymen. These qualities anointed him as their leader.”

Sabah (TR) /

Overcoming enmity with music

Theodorakis was also revered in Turkey, Sabah, which has close ties to the AKP, reminds readers:

“Theodorakis is not just a Greek composer. He is also the voice of Anatolia, Greece, Europe, indeed the whole world. ... Whoever grasps this understands that it should not be difficult to replace enmity [between Greece and Turkey] with friendship. ... The phenomenon of Theodorakis should remind us and above all the Greeks of our common culture and common future. ... Hopefully, Greece's Prime Minister Mitsotakis, who from time to time attracts attention with racist remarks, has come to his senses a little through Theodorakis' death.”


No more Mikis to embrace the whole world

Tvxs describes why the farewell is so painful:

“Mikis leaves behind a nation that is not as united as he dreamed it would be, a world that is not as just as he wanted it to be. ... Perhaps the most painful thing about this farewell is that we know we will not meet another Mikis who opens his arms and embraces all those who are treated unjustly all over the planet. We will no longer hear another such sacred music falling from the sky along with the rain and the stars.”

Avgi (GR) /

The Greek who made us dream of the future

Avgi comments:

“Mikis Theodorakis, the global Greek, shaped his time and the hopes and dreams for the future. A great composer. Much has been written about his work and much will still be written. Mikis's music spoke to people's hearts and souls. It became the flag of the people, of resistance, of the struggle for freedom, democracy and justice. He moved us all, regardless of the adventures of his political path, his views and his feisty character.”