CULTURE

Late statesman to be commemorated in Myconos Sunday

The late statesman Constantine Karamanlis, former prime minister and president, was front-page news for 50 years. During his lifetime, he set up a foundation (which bears his name) to preserve not so much his memory but his work, in the form of archives, photographs and publications for future generations to study. Tomorrow at 11 a.m. in Myconos, where he used to spend a few days every summer with friends and associates, the Constantine Karamanlis Foundation and the Municipality of Myconos and its mayor, Christos Veronis, are to hold a ceremony in his honor in which a marble bust of Karamanlis by Michalis Vafeiadis will be unveiled. Pictured here is the model for the bust by the artist, who met Karamanlis when he became prime minister after the fall of the 1967-74 military dictatorship. Karamanlis, who had heard of Vafeiadis while living in exile in Paris, invited him to paint his portrait. Another six followed – one is at the foundation’s headquarters in Filothei, one at Parliament House and one in his family home in Serres. He posed for Vafeiadis at his home, first in Herodou Attikou Street and then in Politeia. In the final years of his life after he had retired from active politics after 50 years of service, he began thinking about having a bust sculpted. He allowed Vafeiadis to undertake the task and was satisfied with the result. «You know me well. You know what I am looking for,» the statesman told the artist. On May 10, 2006, the marble bust was unveiled in Filothei’s Pikionis Square and now it is Myconos’s turn to honor him, with the help of Theodoros Haritopoulos, who was with him during both good and bad times in Athens and Paris and on the journeys that led to Greece’s entry to the European Union. Myconos resident Kyriakos Kalamaras has sponsored the bust, which is to be unveiled in the presence of Karamanlis’s brother, Achilleas, who is vice president of the foundation and a former minister, along with his wife Niki and members of the foundation. The government will be represented by Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos.