Gov’t backs Samiou on blue songs

The government, among others, yesterday leapt to the defense of one of Greece’s most respected singers and traditional music researcher who has been sued for performing risque folk songs on a national television show. «Societies that failed to respect their cultural inheritance did not last long,» said government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos. A chorister, Theodoros Akridas, filed a suit against Domna Samiou – who is due to appear in court tomorrow – claiming she had engaged in «hardcore audio pornography» during the program, shown on state-run ET3 almost a year ago. Samiou, 76, sang folk songs which are popular during the carnival season and contain explicit sexual references. Akridas’s move was applauded by Archbishop Christodoulos, head of the Church of Greece, whose press secretary yesterday called for people to employ cultural judgment. Meanwhile, the Greek Communist Party, Synaspismos Left Coalition and a host of celebrities from the arts world yesterday spoke out in defense of Samiou’s right to artistic expression.