The French antiquarian Edmond Duthoit was in Cyprus in 1863 and 1865 collecting antiquities. He came across an interesting acquaintance in Famagusta:
If you are returning from Famagusta, the people who take an interest in your trip, in one voice, will ask you: have you seen Yanni Kerdendji? I have little curiosity for these criminal celebrities, I even find this exhibition of the criminal immoral, so during my previous visits I refused to go and see this murderer. But during my last trip. While visiting the gateway I was impressed by the figure of a tired man wearing a Greek traditional costume and carrying his chains. This man was Yianni, watering his flowers; he stretched his hand towards me and I felt I could not refuse him some alms. He then took an enormous bouquet of basil which he gave to my dragoman in appreciation. I have lost this plant and I am sorry, as I was impressed by the contrast that presented itself in these peaceful and innocent activities and the tempestuous and criminal life this great convict had led.
Rita Severis, Lucie Bonato Along the most beautiful path in the world, 1999:107.
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