ATHENS (Reuters) – Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis, whose infectious, earthy score for the 1964 film ““Zorba the Greek” helped foster the country’s sunny, carefree image for millions of tourists, died on Thursday, aged 96, the Culture Ministry said.

A towering man with a brooding look and a shock of wavy hair, Theodorakis’s music evoked his vision of the world: a yearning for a progressive, democratic version of communism.

“Today we lost a part of Greece’s soul. Mikis Theodorakis, Mikis the teacher, the intellectual, the radical, our Mikis has gone,” said Culture Minister Lina Mendoni.

(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; editing by John Stonestreet)

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