After lying in state for three days, the body of beloved Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis was on Wednesday carried out of the chapel of St. Eleftherios and taken to the Athens Cathedral amid applause from the crowd, including from Turkish composer Zülfü Livaneli, that had come to pay their final respects.
As rain fell outside the Athens Cathedral, crowds waited and officials started to arrive for the farewell ceremony at 15:00, among them Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
Others attending included the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Dimitris Koutsoumbas, singers Maria Farantouri and Giorgos Dalaras with Anna Dalara, former KKE general secretary Aleka Papariga, former ministers Nikos Voutsis, Sofia Sakorafa, Pavlos Geroulanos, Giorgos Lianis, Costas Laliotis, former premier George Papandreou, MP and party leader Kyriakos Velopoulos, Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis, Marianna Vardinoyannis and foreign ambassadors.
The family of the late composer were gathered around his coffin, while a special moment was the arrival of popular Turkish composer Zülfü Livaneli, a friend of Theodorakis, and Finnish singer and activist Arja Saijonmaa.
Zülfü Livaneli and Mikis Theodorakis composed music together too.
A farewell ceremony is scheduled to take place in the cathedral at 15:00 on Wednesday, after which the body will be taken to the village of Galatas on the island of Crete, where the composer had asked to be buried, for a funeral service and burial on Thursday.