Composer and politician Mikis Theodorakis will be buried according to his wishes in Chania, Crete, on Sept. 9 next to his parents and brother, Greece’s Communist Party said Sunday.
A family dispute had developed over Theodorakis’ burial place following his death at age 96 on Thursday. His daughter had said he would be buried in the village of Vrahati, near Corinth, where he maintained a holiday home.
But his son said Friday that the family would respect his wishes. A court had temporarily halted any burial plans, after unnamed Theodorakis collaborators had intervened, citing his expressed wishes and producing notarized documents.
Theodorakis had written a letter to the mayor of Chania in 2013 expressing his wish to be buried in the cemetery of Galatas, a location west of Chania, where his father hailed from.
“My family does not approve of my wish; however, the law recognizes everyone’s right to decide about the disposal of their body,” Theodorakis had written in the letter.
According to the announcement by the Communist Party’s political bureau, Theodorakis will lie in state at Athens’ Metropolitan Cathedral from Monday, starting a day earlier than originally planned. The visiting hours are 3-7 p.m. Monday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday. A “farewell ceremony” will take place Wednesday afternoon and the body will be flown to Crete later that day. The church service and burial will be on Thursday, at a time to be announced.
Theodorakis had a tumultuous relationship with the Communist Party, or KKE, leaving it in the late 1960s, rejoining in the late 1970s and getting elected as a lawmaker with the conservative New Democracy party in 1990.
But he wrote a letter in October 2020 to Communist Party Secretary-General Dimitris Koutsoumbas, essentially entrusting him with the funeral arrangements.
“Now, at the end of my life, at the time of taking stock, details are erased from my mind and the ‘Big Things’ remain. So, I see that I spent my most crucial, forceful and mature years, under KKE’s banner. For this reason, I want to depart this world as a communist,” Theodorakis wrote.