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Disdain for hero as monument serves as coffee table

A monument to the first fallen officer in Herakleion during the Battle of Crete has been "taken over" by a local cafeteria owner and used as a prop for the store.

On 21 may 1941, major Miihail Tzoulakis, fell dead to German fire. He was the first Greek officer to die in the Herakleion sector during the battle of Crete. In his honor the municipality erected a commemorative plaque emblazoned with a bronze haut-relief bronze casting of the heroic major's face made by sculptor Manolis Zacharioudakis.

However, its modest appearance and an obvious lack of concern sprinkled with ample ignorance and indifference, led the monument, which is one of the busiest and most commercial areas of Herakleion, to obscurity, degradation, and finally to a new role as place to lean on and place your glass as you're sipping coffee.

Now, it's part of the newest city “hot” spot, where hundreds of youths congregate to sip coffee, talk, and flirt, using the erstwhile monument in a new role as coffee table, or bar stool, with the complete and obvious complicity of the shop owner, and the total disregard of the municipality.

It is a humble monument, to a heroic officer that served in both world wars the country was embroiled in, and who was chastised for his democratic beliefs, during the country's tumultuous inter-war history. Yet modern Herakliots have totally disdained the monument, defeating its only purpose to refresh the memory of a humble soldier who lost his life in defense of his country.