Well-known Cypriot tetraplegic mouth painter Kyriacos Kyriacou from has died aged 67 after being hospitalised for the past ten months at the Nicosia general hospital, his family announced on Saturday.
“He fought so hard, he defied all odds, he proved many doctors’ predictions wrong, but unfortunately a human body can only take so much before it surrenders even on the last minute, he fought hard,” Kyriacou’s wife Blanche said in an email to the Cyprus Mail.
The family lives in Liopetri.
Kyriacou was injured in a diving accident at the age of 16 in the summer of 1973 in the UK where he was raised, breaking his neck and being told he would never walk again. Use of his arms was also limited.
In 1981 he became a ‘mouth painter’, having used his ‘O’ Level art skills plus hours of practice to gain acceptance to the MFPA, i.e. Mouth and Foot Painting Artists. The organisation, which is based in Switzerland, guarantees all members a monthly stipend even if they don’t deliver, making its money by collecting paintings from all over the world and reproducing them as Christmas cards and calendars.
In an interview with the Cyprus Mail in 2016, Kyriacou said mouth painting had given him is life back and his self respect as it meant he could work for a living and “have something to wake up for in the morning”.
He is survived by his wife Blanche and two children.
The funeral will be held on Monday, September 25 at 3pm at the Church of Panagia Eleousa in Liopetri.