[MGSA-L] Police hunt missing Palamas manuscript

June Samaras june.samaras at gmail.com
Wed Dec 31 20:57:58 PST 2014

December 31, 2014
Police hunt missing Palamas manuscript

By Evie Andreou


POLICE are looking into the disappearance of a century-old manuscript with
the poem ‘Cyprus’, by Greek poet Kostis Palamas, which no one noticed until
recently had vanished from the Paphos municipal library.

In fact, the library did not even know it was supposed to have the
manuscript until a researcher discovered it had been donated in 1951 but
was not there when he went to look for it.

The manuscript, estimated to be written by Palamas in the turn of the 20th
century was donated to the Paphos municipal library by Nicolaos K Lanitis
in 1951.

According to reports, the academic who noticed it was no longer there
believes it is in the hands of a private individual from Limassol, and
reported as much to police.

“We didn’t even know of its existence until we were notified by the person
who discovered it through his research,” Paphos deputy mayor Makis Roussis
told the Cyprus Mail.

He said that there were no proper records of the library’s books and
documents and that was the reason it escaped their attention. It appears
the last documented sighting of the manuscript in the library was in 1970.

The municipal library has been closed for the past year for restoration
Roussis said, and it will open again in the new year.

“Paphos is considered Palamas’ town par excellence as it organises special
festivities in his honour each year since 1939, a fact that it is a
phenomenon in the whole Hellenic world therefore the manuscript’s
misplacement is considered to be a great loss for our town’s cultural and
spiritual tradition,” the cultural association Fysiolatrikos Pnevmatikos
Omilos said in an announcement.

In the poem ‘Cyprus’, Palamas gives an account of the island’s history; he
weaves mythological and folk heroes with historic events and praises the
island for not changing its character despite many conquests over the

The poem, which is also included in Palamas’ ‘The State and Solitude’ a
1912 poem collection, was reportedly published a lot earlier, in 1901, in a
Greek newspaper.

Palamas, who was born in 1859 and died in 1943 also wrote the lyrics of the
Olympic Hymn performed for the first time at the opening ceremony of the
first modern Olympic Games in 1896 in Athens and later established as the
anthem of the Olympics. He was nominated twice for the Nobel Prize for

June Samaras
2020 Old Station Rd
Canada L5M 2V1
Tel : 905-542-1877
E-mail : june.samaras at gmail.com
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