Maritsa, 'Grandma of Lesbo' who helped migrants, dies

89 years old, she and other elderly women were Nobel candidates

17 January, 14:46

    (ANSAmed) - ROME, JANUARY 17 - Maritsa Mavrapidou, an elderly woman on the Greek island of Lesbo who became famous for a photo in which she and other "grandmas" were shown giving a bottle of milk to a newborn who had arrived on a migrant boat, has died at the age of 89.

    The photo became so famous that she and other other elderly women became candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize. "We welcomed the refugees because we too come from refugees," she said in an interview in 2015, at the height of the migrant crisis in Greece.

    She was referring to the fact that her family had arrived on Lesbo from Turkey in 1922, when there was a traumatic population exchange between the two countries.

    The three grandmothers in the photo spent months on the island's coast in 2015, bringing clothes and home-baked bread to the migrants.

    "If they weren't well when they got off the boats, we helped them," Maritsa said.

    "We behaved like human beings," she said.(ANSAmed).

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