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Artwork by Ivan Aivazovsky

1896. From Cyprus to Istanbul

Tireless and indomitable

“The question isn’t who is going to let me; It ‘s who is going to stop me.”

V. Putin

The Greek athlete triumphs wherever he goes. He visits Cyprus where he performs in. Immediately after, he travels to Constantinople where he appears at the “Melissa” theater, under the title “New Hercules”. So while Coutalianos defines himself as the strongest athlete in the world, none of the highly touted Turkish wrestlers show up to face him.

June 1, 1896
The athlete is touring Cyprus.
June 8, 1896
The “New Hercules” Coutalianos, performs at the “Melissa” theater in Istanbul.
19th century fresco depicting Panagis Coutalianos. The mural bears the date 1892 and the inscription “PANAIS COUTALIANOS”. It was detached along with another mural DEPICTIONS Athanasios Diakos (hero of the Revolution of 1821) from the walls of a cafe in the village of Geri, which was due to be demolished. According to our information, the cafe belonged to Christos Hatzimichael (†1965), who remembered that the murals were painted by an actor of shadow theater, who was hosted by his father at the cafe. (source: Cyprus Folk Art Muse.
Indicative map of Koutalianos’ movements during the period 1896
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