Mikis Theodorakis, composer of Zorba the Greek, dies aged 96

Mikis Theodorakis, the celebrated composer best known for the music from the 1964 film Zorba the Greek, has died in Athens aged 96.

Theodorakis was in the resistance to the Nazi occupation of Greece in World War Two and later served as an MP.

He was also a leading figure opposing military rule in Greece from 1967-1974.

Zorba the Greek told the story of an English writer in Crete whose life is transformed when he meets Alexis Zorba, a gregarious peasant.

The scene when Zorba dances barefoot on the beach became a popular image of Greek culture. The theme from the film, which won three Oscars, remains probably the most famous piece of Greek music more than half a century later.

“Today we lost a part of the soul of Greece,” Culture Minister Lina Mendoni wrote on Twitter, calling him “the one who made all Greeks sing poetry”.

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