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General News

The Story Behind an Icon Purchased by George Zapantis

July 7, 2020
By Matina Demelis

NEW YORK – Just two weeks before he lost his life on June 21, 29-year-old George Zapantis had ordered an icon from Greece via eBay. The man who sold it to him contacted The National Herald, as he said, in the hope that the icon will reach Zapantis’ mother's hands.

Kostas Stogiannakis, from Drama, a seller on eBay, received an order from New York in mid-June. A few days after he had shipped the order, he happened to read the news of Zapantis’ death on the internet and immediately remembered his name.

"I sent him the icon a few days earlier. And as I read the news, I saw the name George Zapantis and it seemed familiar to me. I immediately realized that he was the one who had made the purchase. I searched for his name, confirmed his address and was shocked. I may not have known him but I was very upset that a young man died so tragically. We all in Greece froze when we heard this news,” Stogiannakis told TNH.

The icon ordered by George Zapantis on eBay depicts Saint Christina and as mentioned in the description, it is a handmade Byzantine icon on wood.

The purchase, according to Stogiannakis, took place on June 12. “The icon depicts St. Christina. I'm sorry he didn't have time to receive it. I remember sending it on Monday, June 15, but because of the coronavirus, it would arrive too late to America, so the young man never received the icon.”

Stogiannakis now hopes, as he told TNH, that the icon will reach George's mother. “I still can't believe it, even now it's hard for me to process it. At least let the icon reach the hands of his mother. Maybe she knows why he chose St. Christina,” he said.

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