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Mikis Theodorakis honored by Cypriot President
2005-10-12 13:52:05

Nicosia, Oct 12 (CNA) - Famous Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis was decorated today at the Presidential Palace by President of the Republic of Cyprus Tassos Papadopoulos with the Grand Cross of the Order of Makarios III for his contribution to music, the arts and culture, and his participation in social justice struggles and efforts for world peace.

In his address, President Papadopoulos said that Theodorakis ''a Hellene in soul, heart and spirit emerges from his work and is recognised through his work as an authentic interpreter of the pain, love, passion, agonies, dreams and struggles of the simple man who is searching in the difficulties of life for a better tomorrow.''

''His music and songs have a date of birth but never a date of expiry. There is no limit to the magic of the music and the power of poetry that go beyond space and time offering human life a special dimension and a new perspective,'' the President said.

President Papadopoulos also said that he would never forget the artist's ''spontaneous intervention on the eve of the referendum (April 2004) when he urged the people to reject the unfair solution'' to the Cyprus problem.

A really emotional Theodorakis asked the President for permission to add in his CV from now on that he is not only a Hellene and a Cretan but also a Cypriot. He also sent a message of unity to the Turkish Cypriots, expressing the hope that a settlement will not take long to be reached.

Referring to all Cypriots he said, ''I grew with you. I have been influenced by your thoughts and soul. I sympathised with you and I sang always trying to be by your side, as a brother, a compatriot, a supporter to share with you the unbearable burden of injustice''.

In his address he also noted the great achievement of the island's accession to the EU, which ''will contribute to the efforts for the future reunification of the island.''

Also present at the ceremony were House of Representatives President Demetris Christofias, Greek Ambassador in Cyprus Demetris Rallis, former President of the Republic George Vassiliou, Greek singers George Dalaras and Maria Farantouri and government officials.

Earlier today Theodorakis was announced by Mayor Michalakis Zampelas an honorary citizen and was given the Gold Key of the town, last divided city in Europe, and expressed the hope that he will be alive to see the reunification of the capital.

Zamplelas said that Mikis Theodorakis is awarded by the Municipal Council for his contribution to world civilization and expressed the hope that Cyprus will soon be reunited.

He noted that he would never forget the composer's first concerts right after the Turkish invasion in 1974, which were raising the spirits of the Cypriots.

Mikis Theodorakis said that with the cooperation of Cyprus and Greece ''we are on the right track.''

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