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Romania buries music icon Florian Pittis

Marţi, 7 august 2007, 0:00

Photo: Rompres

Romanian musician, actor and radio show producer Florian Pittis is buried on the Alley of the Artists in Bellu, Bucharest’s most famous cemetery, on Tuesday. Burial ceremonies for Pittis, who gained fame and recognition for his rebellious attitude under the communist regime, started at the theater in downtown Bucharest where he used to play.

The coffin would then be carried to the public radio headquarter so that his former radio colleagues pay their homage before reaching the Bellu Cemetery for burial in the afternoon.

The Alley of the Artists at the Bellu Cemetery is where many famous Romanian writers and artists are buried.

Pittis died Sunday at the age of 63. He was suffering of prostate cancer and was hospitalized in a serious condition at a top hospital in Bucharest early last week. Pittis made himself known by and appreciated among generations of Romanians as a singer, film and stage actor, TV and radio presenter.

Doctors at the Fundeni Hospital in Bucharest said Pittis died at 3.15 p.m. on Sunday and that he was conscious until the very last moment. Doctor Madalina Draganescu presented a letter signed by the artist on August 2 by which he demanded the medical personnel that nobody beside his family be informed about his condition.

News of his being hospitalized were published by the media early last week.

Born on October 4, 1943 in Bucharest, he was a folk singer, composer, actor, radio producer. He gained fame under the communist period when he used to play acts with strong anti-communist connotations in plays at the Lucia Sturza Bulandra Theater in Bucharest.

His voice became a trademark for “Teleenciclopedia”, a general knowledge TV documentary show viewed by millions in a time when the national TV station in Romania was limited by the communist regime to two hours daily, broadcasting mainly communist propaganda. He also dedicated most of his time to radio production.

In late May, he and Romanian singer-composer Ducu Bertzi held a tour in the US for a series of concerts to fund the building of a new Romanian church in Maryland. Over 1,000 people came to listen to and applaud him without ever considering they’d do so for the last time.

His favorite football team, Rapid Bucharest, wore black ribbons in the memory of Florian Pittis during a game on Sunday evening. Pittis was a founding member of the Rapid Aristocratic Club, an association promoting “the spirit of the Rapid” football team.

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