Mikis Theodorakis speaks up for the rights of artists during the pandemic

Mikis Theodorakis

Mikis Theodorakis

The renowned Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis in an open letter, made a statement about the current situation faced by Greek artists who are not supported by the state allowances amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"Greek Art and Greek artists are the ones who kept our people standing in difficult days for our country," he stated.

Below is the statement by Mikis Theodorakis

In 1945-46 the then government, in order to help the students, organised meals for them. Let me remind you that at that time people were hungry. We, the students of the Conservatories, were exempted from this saving measure. And we were starving.

Then, we decided to protest and ask to be included. For this purpose, a small committee of students of Conservatories was set up, in which I also participated, who undertook to visit the General Director of the Ministry of Food. After many actions, our General Manager finally accepted.

- Who are you; What do you want; What is your request? he asked us.

-To include us in the meals of the Ministry of Food.

-As what? the General Director wondered.

-As students. We study music, we are students!

-And that's why you're bothering me? You are not a student. You are violinists who play for fun. Go, please!

75 years have passed since then and I find that the same Middle Ages characterise the current officials of the Ministry of Finance, who did not include artists of all branches and generally all those who are employed in any capacity in the field of Art, in the amount of 800 or 600 Euro allowance.

So that the people of Art are not the ones who create our modern national culture but they are just entertainers!

I sincerely regret that I lived to see again that the deeply obscure perceptions still exist, while Greek Art and Greek artists are the ones who kept our people standing in difficult days for our country, which should rightly place them in the front line of the assessment of the responsible authorities of a civilised country.

Athens, 11.4.2020

Mikis Theodorakis