Yesterday, the square of the National Ivan Franko academic drama theatre gathered several thousand people, who came in the morning to pay the last respects to the prominent Ukrainian artist Bohdan Stupka.

He was 71, and he won the most important awards of the former USSR and Ukraine. Directors used to chase him, considering it an honor to have him in their movies, and the audience adored all characters he played.

Wishing to pay last respects, the fans of the great actor were standing in line in front of the theater hoping to say goodbye personally.

Bohdan Stupka gave tens of years to this theatre and its stage. As in life, people came to Stupka with flowers.

There were so many flowers that the security guards had to bring them out, so that the people could actually walk on the stage.

Most people were crying, not being ashamed by the emotions.

Not only fans and colleagues came to say goodbye, but the chief executives of the state as well.

"Stupka had an extraordinary talent to transform and improve everything around him," poet Ivan Drach recalls.

Professor of the National academy of fine art and architecture Larysa Skorik believes that it would be impossible to replace or repeat the talent of Bohdan Stupka. "Decades will have passed before we find a personality of this level. He was emotional and brilliant actor," she says.

Bohdan Stupka set high standards for the next generations, and it would be difficult to beat his genius," actor Oleksandr Zadniprovski declares.

"In the person of Stupka Ukraine has lost an actor who could play any character - from the God to Mephistopheles. In personal contact he had a gift to keep up the talk," editor Ivan Malkovych says almost crying.

Despite the fact that the farewell ceremony for Bohdan Stupka at the Ivan Franko Theater was extended after numerous requests from people who came to pay last respects to the actor for an hour, not everyone had a chance to say goodbye in person. Instead, people were laying flowers along the route of the funeral procession. 

The fans waited the funeral of their idol with standing ovation and shouts "Bravo!"

Regardless the heat, the fans decided to go walking to the cemetery. The crowd of mourners went down the Horodetsky street toward the Maidan Square, paying last tribute to the actor. As a result, the traffic police officials had to block the traffic to open the way for the procession.

The procession was headed by priests, who conducted the burial ceremony afterwards.

Bohdan Stupka was buried at the Baikove cemetery. His tomb is located in the central alley between the graves of the football coach Valery Lobanovsky and cardiologist Mykola Amosov.

Handful of soil on the tomb and memory eternal.

Alina Yeremeyeva, photos by Viktor Kovalshuk


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