Thursday, March 10, 2011

Christos o Arapis (Chris the Coloured man)

Christos' portrait by the famous Greek painter Nikolaos Gyzis
Christos Arapis was a "distinguished" personality in the society of Athens in 19th century.
 He was a beloved person and often the press was hosting articles about him. He was  multilingual  and had a good knowledge of politics and diplomacy which was in fact weird cause he was brought as a slave in Greece from Ethiopia  to serve as a soldier of the Ottoman empire.After the Greek revolution in 1821 and the formation of the Greek state in 1830 he defected towards the Greek side and lived until his death in Athens.
According to the Athenean press of the period he was fully aware of the celebrations and the events in his city and his flowers along with his wishes were arriving first than any other presents. Many modern Greek painters have painted his portrait and a poem was also dedicated to him when he died.
He died in Athens dissapointed about how the things were going about the recently formed Greek state. There's a memorable quote he uttered before his death.«την ελευθερία σας καταντήσατε κλεφτερία» which means You have turned your freedom into stealing  Adressing towards the corrupted financial ministers of the government.

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