by Apostolos Kotsampasis

All four have reached the top. Of the planet, of course. At the height of their success they seemed divine, far beyond the limits of the everyday man. And indeed they were. Gianni Agnelli, Aristotle Onassis, Maria Callas and Dalida experienced both greatness and personal tragedy. Two of the most powerful businessmen and two divas. Different, but not so much on the dark side.

Agnelli had said the unsurpassable: ‘I like the wind because you can’t buy it…’. And Onassis too: “After a certain point money ceases to matter, it ceases to be the goal, the game is all that matters…”. In a similar vein, Callas: “Don’t talk to me about rules. Wherever I find myself, I make the damn rules…”. These words attributed to them may have been spoken at the height of their power. Greatness and splendour o the lives of the four, with stardust covering their human frailties. Shining on one side. Grey, with family blows and personal demons, the other. As if a thin line separates them. An extreme contrast or something out of an ancient tragedy?

The bottom line is that, regardless of the shadows of their private lives, they remain as iconic personalities as reference points to this day. Their myth shows great resilience in a digital world dominated by fake idols, ephemeral influencers, disposable social media celebrities, conspiracy theorists, science deniers and controversial, identity-less characters.

Illustration: Dimarelos