Several thousand mourners today attended a funeral service for shipping heiress Christina Onassis at a cathedral her father helped build in this Athens suburb.
About 500 friends and relatives packed St. Fotini Cathedral to hear 15 priests perform the 45-minute Greek Orthodox funeral liturgy, and 5,000 Athenians on sidewalks and balconies watched their arrival and departure.
Onassis’ silver-bordered, brown mahogany coffin lay under the cathedral’s dome as the bearded, golden-robed priests chanted the Byzantine service accompanied by an all-male choir. Thierry Roussel, Onassis’ fourth ex-husband, stood alone behind the flower-covered coffin, which was flanked by Onassis relatives and friends.
Still Under Investigation
Greek government ministers, politicians, shipowners and businessmen stood under the cathedral’s frescoed ceilings as the priests chanted.
Onassis, 37, died Saturday of a pulmonary edema, or accumulation of fluid in the lungs, in the Buenos Aires home of longtime friend Marina de Dodero. However, the cause of death is still under investigation. Christina was the heir to the fortune of her father, shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis. She leaves a daughter, Athena, 3.