Tomb of Richard Church (1784-1873)

Funerary stele with relief portrait. Sculptor: Dimitrios Filippotis (1839-1919)

The monumental tomb bears the funerary stele of the British General Richard Church who participated in the liberation struggle of the Greeks in 1821. It was made upon order after his death by the sculptor Dimitrios Filippotis (Tinos Tower, 1839-Athens, November 28, 1919). It bears an English inscription on the front and the corresponding Greek on the back: "Richard Church, General, who gave himself and all he had to rescue a Christian race from oppression and to make Greece a nation, lived for her service and died among her people, rests here in peace and faith."
On the front of the column is the relief portrait of Richard Church in realistic idiom, surrounded by a wreath of oak and laurel branches joined by a ribbon. At the top of the column extends a zone with lotus flowers and anthems and a zone with two types of ionic and lesbian waves. The crown is decorated with small anthems surrounding a vaulted structure decorated with a laurel wreath and a cross. The podium is decorated with military trophies.
Richard Church was born in Cork, Ireland in 1784 and died in Athens in March 1873. He was a Philhellenic, Irish British soldier who served in Britain, the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and Greece, and a Greek politician. He fought from 1805 in the Napoleonic Wars and in the Ionian Islands where he established a military unit on behalf of the British until 1813. In 1827 the Greeks invited him to take command of the land army. He then assumed the positions of the leader of Western Greece, but also of the Senator in 1844. He died in Athens in 1873 and was buried at public expense. The funeral ceremony took place in the protestant church of Athens in the presence of the king and many officials.

City of Athens, Department of Cultural Heritage, 2022

@text:Georgia Antonopoulou, Katerina Tsatoucha

@photo:Victoria Kaisari

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