Greece declared a three-day national mourning period after the death of Mikis Theodorakis, the greatest Greek composer in its history, whose music has touched generations. Mikis, as he is affectionately known by millions of Greeks around the world, died at his home in central Athens. He was 96.
“Today we lost a part of the soul of Greece,” said Culture Minister Lina Mendoni in a condolence message posted on Twitter.
“Mikis Theodorakis, Mikis of all of us, the teacher, the intellectual, the radical left. The one who made all Greeks sing poets,” the statement went on.
Συλλυπητήριο μήνυμα της Υπουργού Πολιτισμού και Αθλητισμού Λίνας Μενδώνη για την απώλεια του Μίκη Θεοδωράκη.
— Υπουργείο Πολιτισμού και Αθλητισμού (@cultureGR) September 2, 2021
The President of the Hellenic Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, spoke of a “pan-Hellenic figure and at the same time a universal artist, an invaluable asset of our musical culture.”
“Dedicated to national dignity, humanity and solidarity, he has never ceased to be a profound, diverse artist, and an artist who insisted to the end on viewing the world with the romance and confidence of an eternal, indestructible youth.”
Three day national mourning
“Mikis Theodorakis is now passing into eternity. His voice was silenced and with him the whole of Hellenism was silenced,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said.
“He leaves us a legacy of his songs, his political action, but also his national contribution at critical moments. All Greeks are crying today,” Mitsotakis added.
“And for this reason, and with a decision of the government, a three-day national mourning period is declared from today.”
Ο Μίκης Θεοδωράκης περνά πια στην αιωνιότητα. Η φωνή του σίγησε και μαζί του σίγησε και ολόκληρος ο Ελληνισμός. Όπως είχε γραφτεί και για τον Παλαμά, «όλοι είχαμε ξεχάσει πως είναι θνητός». Μας αφήνει παρακαταθήκη τα τραγούδια του, την πολιτική του δράση, την εθνική του προσφορά. pic.twitter.com/ooqSPHFyq8
— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) September 2, 2021
Mikis Theodorakis “gave light to our souls”
“Mikis gave light to our souls. He marked with his work the life and course of those who chose the road of democracy and social justice,” stated main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance leader Alexis Tsipras.
Tsipras underlined that “the superb composer, the fighter, the communist, the activist, through his music, life, struggles and his contradictions gave new meaning to freedom, to culture, art and participation. We are saying goodbye with the certainty that what he leaves behind is indelible. In the hearts of our people, the country’s identity, the cultural heritage of the world.”
Έδωσε νέο νόημα στην ελευθερία, τον πολιτισμό, την τέχνη, τη συμμετοχή. Τον αποχαιρετούμε με τη βεβαιότητα ότι αυτό που αφήνει πίσω του είναι ανεξίτηλο. Στην ψυχή του λαού μας, στην ταυτότητα της πατρίδας μας, στην πολιτιστική κληρονομιά της οικουμένης. #Μικης_Θεοδωρακης pic.twitter.com/ouPOzHgD1F
— Αλέξης Τσίπρας – Alexis Tsipras (@atsipras) September 2, 2021
“Mikis Theodorakis has created a huge cultural capital for the country, while his ideas and political struggles that have inspired more than one generation, are legacies for democracy, freedom, national dignity,” opposition Movement for Change (KINAL) leader Fofi Gennimata said.
Mikis inspired all Greeks
“With his work he inspired and expressed all Greeks, who mourn today. He promoted the name of Greece, through his music and the prestige of his name, in every corner of the globe. He contributed to the promotion of Greek poetry, setting to music Greek poets whose speech reached the ends of the world.
“In difficult times for democracy, his songs were a beacon of hope that never went out for millions of Greeks. We all grew up, we fell in love, we became active citizens, we held hands in gatherings and concerts, we sang, we cried with emotion under the sounds of his music,” Gennimata added.