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26.03.07: Légion d'honneur: French culture minister honours Theodorakis

Theodorakis honoured
French Culture Minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, on behalf of French President Jacques Chirac, bestowed on composer Mikis Theodorakis the medal of Commandeur of the Legion of Honour, at an event held at the French Embassy in Athens on Monday.

The French minister described Theodorakis as "our national composer, who," he said, "personifies in the eyes of the world Greece’s long course of the post-war in the quest of its freedom and its dignity."

The French minister also spoke about Theodorakis’ struggles against the junta in Greece, but also about France which stood at his side in all the major ordeals.

"We are celebrating tonight the strength of culture and the ‘weapons’ of culture: Culture as a strength, culture as a weapon. Because it’s through culture that you passed into history," said the French minister. He added, "it’s through culture that you cultivated your bond with France and expressed your faith for the future of a united and strong Europe. Culture for you was always a struggle against dictatorships, against the alienation of man, against conformity. Culture is a resistance, whose strength you symbolise. Your songs became hymns for all the lovers of freedom," de Vabres said.

Also present at the event were Culture Minister George Voulgarakis, Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, Aegean and Island Policy Minister Aristotelis Pavlidis and main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) deputy Mariliza Xenoyiannakopoulou.

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