Saturday, May 25, 2013

Moustaki will not be buried in Alexandria


Fans of Georges Moustaki will be saddened to hear of  the 79-year-old chansonnier's death two days ago. Born in Egypt when it was a Levantine melting pot, he was a universalist who sang in many languages. It looks like he will not be granted his wish, expressed in December, to be buried in his native Alexandria, with other 'free thinkers'. His last resting place will be the Pere Lachaise cemetery in  Paris, along with other great poets, authors, and personalities.

The Times of Israel reports (with thanks: Michelle):

JTA — Georges Moustaki, a French singer and songwriter known as “The Wandering Jew,” has died.
Moustaki’s Paris-based production company said he had died early Thursday at his home in Nice in southern France following a long illness, the French news agency AFP reported. He was 79. 

The Greece native won his nickname in France for his simple musical style and melancholic ballads that he sang himself, as well as wrote and composed in the 1960s for such renowned artists as Edith Piaf, Yves Montand and Juliette Greco.

Among the more famous of the hundreds of songs he wrote is “Les Meres Juives,” or “The Jewish Mothers.”

Moustaki told the RTL radio station in December that he wanted to be buried in Alexandria, where he grew up and lived until he was 17 with his Jewish parents, who came there from Corfu, Greece. They later moved to France, where he spent the rest of his life.


Anonymous said...

Georges Moustaki was not a Greek native. He was born in Alexandria, Egypt.

bataween said...

Our article makes it clear that he was born in Alexandria. But he probably did hold Greek nationality, as a number of Egyptian Jews did. To complicate matters, Corfu had been under Venetian rule and the Briitish until 1864. Moustaki's given name, Giuseppe, is a throwback to the long centuries of Italian rule.