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ND Elections Spot Angers Odysseas Elytis’ Heir

 Ioulita Iliopoulou got angry to see Nea Dimokratia using a picture and a verse of the great Greek poet and winner of 1979 Nobel Prize for Literature, Odysseas Elytis at the party’s main elections spot. “Elytis belongs to all Greeks and cannot be claimed by any political party” Iliopoulou, the guardian of Elytis’ works copyrights, said in statement.

In the 1:32-minute long spot, party leader Antonis Samaras recites a verse of  Elytis poem his the poet’s picture is displayed as he received the Nobel Prize by the King of Sweden. “And as Elytis said about the Greeks “And let them call us day-dreamers my friend, those who never felt with what Iron, what Stones, What Blood and Fire, we build, we dream and sing,” Samaras says.

Video: ND spot

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“We will not enforce protective measures, it would be meaningless as the elections take place on Sunday” Iliopoulou told daily TA NEA. She said, she learned about the elections spot by a ‘neighbour’ and immediately issued a statement demanding for the immediate withdrawal of the part referring to Elytis.

“Having the responsibility for his work and honoring the memory and his principles, we request the immediate withdrawal. The poetry, the ethics and the thinking of Elytis are national capital of highest importance and no ownership of any party. Let’s show respect. “Be afraid of the anger of the dead, and the statues of the rocks.” Elytis’ later partner, his heir and copyrights keeper Iliopoulou said.

Officials from ND refrained from commenting on the issue, when reporters asked them.

Odysseas Elytis  (November 2, 1911 – March 18, 1996) was regarded as a major exponent of romantic modernism in Greece and the world. In 1979 he was bestowed with the Nobel Prize in Literature. The work that made him famous around the world was the tri-part composition poem Worthy It Is (Το Άξιον Εστί). Due to the music setting by Mikis Theodorakis as an oratorio, it is a revered anthem whose verse is sung by all Greeks for all injustice, resistance and for its sheer beauty and musicality of form.

A major poet in the Greek language, Elytis is also one of the most outstanding international figures of 20th-century poetry. In his work, modernist European poetics and Greek literary tradition are fused in a highly original lyrical voice.

PS According to the spot, also Homer, Maria Callas and Eleftherios Venizelos were also ND supporters, among other famous Greek personalities. And the Ecumenical Patriarchate Basilica Hagia Sophia, located in Istanbul/Turkey, however without minarets….But, hey! These are images of a great nation! Then Antonis Samaras urges Greek to “give him “the power of a nation!”

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One comment

  1. “The poetry, the ethics and the thinking of Elytis are national capital of highest importance” If this is the case (and I think it is not national but international capital as his work transcents the borders) then it belongs to every Greek and to every party. And it is not strange that ND does recognize itself in that work. Or any other party. So they all should be free to quote and use…
    That was the simple answer.
    The more difficult one is one of copyright and image-right. Elytis died just 16 years ago. His work is therefore protected under copyright for at least 56 more years.
    Either the ND has paid royalties to his heir and copyrights keeper Iliopoulou or they didn’t. If they did Iliopoulou would not have made these comments. So, it is fair to assume that they did not and are therefore in breach of the law.
    Something similar about the image-right. You are allowed, under de law in most European countries, to use someone’s face in a news story or a work of art. But you are never allowed to use it for commercial purposes without the consent of the person or his heirs. Question is if political party propaganda is ‘commercial’ but I am pretty sure that any judge will rule that a political party can not use your face in their campaign material without your consent.
    So, this is not a story about Elytis being bigger than any political party or about his place in the literary world. It’s a story about (allegedly) stealing copyrighted material.