The human and scientific personality of Stavros Katsanevas, the recently passed away director of EGO, was so rich and multifaceted, and the connections he had around the world so vast, that it would probably be impossible to draw a truly complete and exhaustive (as he liked to be) portrait of him.

Therefore we want to remember him and keep alive the light with which he illuminated many of our lives, through the messages and images that friends and colleagues felt the need to share after his untimely death.

Goodbye Stavros.

This is very sad news for me personally. I would not be working at APC and on the QUBIC project without Stavros. In 2017, Stavros accepted my transfer to APC from a lab where I was unhappy for many reasons. I will always be grateful for the open-mindedness and humanity that Stavros showed me. His acceptance of my transfer, and his request that I work on QUBIC was the rebirth of my career, and it’s not an exaggeration to say that it vastly improved my whole outlook on life. Thank you Stavros!

Steve Torchinsky

The extraordinary intelligence and human sensitivity of Stavros Katsanevas will be greatly missed,” said . “Despite his difficult health conditions in the past few months, he continued to work and make his outstanding contribution of ideas and vision until the very last moment. Our thoughts are with his wife and family, to whom we express our deepest condolences. We will do our best to honour his efforts and memory and continue to work for the mission of Virgo and EGO, to which Stavros dedicated such strenuous efforts.

Massimo Carpinelli, EGO Deputy Director, and Giovanni Losurdo, Virgo Spokesperson

Stavros è stato uno scienziato di ampia visione e grande determinazione, grazie alle quali ha segnato il passo della ricerca in fisica fondamentale in Europa, in particolare di quel settore che lui stesso ha contribuito ad avviare e che oggi è uno dei più promettenti, la fisica astroparticellare. Con Stavros perdiamo uno scienziato di alto valore e massimo impegno, un collega acuto con cui era sempre stimolante confrontarsi, una persona di grandissima cultura.

Antonio Zoccoli, presidente dell’INFN

You heard me talk about Stavros a few days ago, at the outreach session of Pierre Auger Collaboration meeting in Malargue (Nov 13th 2022). It is difficult to think that he will no longer accompany us in person on this path of science and his communication with people. I believe that Stavros is one of those people who really approached science as a cultural product. We have learned a lot from his work and his attitude, he has opened doors for us in many non-traditional spaces of scientific activity, he has been committed to every innovative project and has always been an inspiration to everyone. A real force of nature.
Those of us who were able to work with him can only say that he will continue to be there, by our side.

Beatriz Garcia to Pierre Auger Observatory

Stavros was an example of dedication and vision throughout his tenure, I had the pleasure of meeting and talking to him on many occasions, appreciating his volcanic vitality. Only two days ago, when I called him to hear how he was, he answered me talking about physics and the future of EGO. His untimely death is a great sorrow and a great loss for our community, we will miss him very much.

Marco Pallavicini, chairman of the EGO Council and vice-president of INFN

Siamo diventati amici nel 1977 a una scuola del CERN, lo siamo rimasti per sempre. Una persona di una profondità e di una cultura senza uguali. Al mio matrimonio ha recitato un brano dell’Iliade! Una brillante carriera, dal Fermilab al CERN, dagli esperimenti nelle profondità marine alle onde gravitazionali. Ha amato l’arte e il suo incontro con la cultura scientifica. Ha dedicato a EGO, di cui è stato fino a ieri il direttore, ogni stilla di energia che la sua difficile condizione di salute gli ha permesso. Addio amico di una vita. Ciao Stavros

Fernando Ferroni, ex presidente dell’INFN e oggi al Direttorato del progetto Einstein Telescope

La presenza di Stavros a Pisa è stata troppo breve, ma di una straordinaria intensità: la sua eccezionale generosità intellettuale, la sua curiosità per i pensieri, gli interessi e le menti degli altri, il suo instancabile desiderio di comunicare ne hanno fatto in pochissimi anni uno dei protagonisti della vita culturale di questa città. Con mia moglie Michela Sassi, siamo stati tra coloro che hanno avuto da lui e dalla sorte questo grande dono. Quando ci ha detto che il suo incarico a EGO stava per finire ci eravamo molto dispiaciuti all’idea di non vederlo più nelle nostre case, nel ristorante greco di via San Martino, nei luoghi dell’arte e della cultura di questa città; e ci aveva rassicurato con la sua intenzione di non perdere contatto con noi e gli altri amici pisani. Non pensavamo mai che lo avremmo perso così presto, e senza rimedio. Per lui non c’era soluzione di continuità fra la propria competenza disciplinare, la filosofia, la cultura classica, le arti visive. Agli amici, ai progetti e alle idee guardava, per così dire, “dalla luna”: da una distanza metaforica che si confondeva con la distanza reale, e col desiderio di colmarla. Il suo sguardo acuto, ironico, profondo ci mancherà moltissimo.

Salvatore Settis

Since the early days of the first EGO Council meetings, we had the pleasure of enjoying Stavros’s visits to Pisa, with his personality and multifaceted culture. Then, as EGO Director, he steered gently the chip, for the good of science and for what it could bring to society at large. He established strong links with administrations and cultural circles in Pisa and in Tuscany. His thinking and his action, driven by his broad humanistic and classical culture, has been an inspiration for many, with magnificent initiatives like dance events, science for the citizen, art exhibits to be enjoyed in Pisa, but also in Rome and Paris. He leaves us with the duty of doing research as well as we can, while remembering that this is part of the human enterprise.

Francesco Fidecaro to APC

We want to write some words with which to remember Stavros, not only as the great physicist he undoubtedly was, but also as a reminder of his humanity.

Stavros had a unique way of doing science, which could be defined with one word: synergy. He believed in the importance of sharing our work with the community, not limited to the usual scientific channels, but through the exploration of other fields of knowledge, such as art, philosophy, music and literature.

During his mandate, he paid special attention to the maintenance of an active scientific life at the observatory, fully believing in the scientific nature of EGO. In particular, he did so by giving the opportunity to many, many students to come to the site and to participate directly in the work on the interferometer.

His enthusiasm towards science was such that he would never see a problem as being unbeatable. He would only see challenges to be overcome in order to push further the limits of our knowledge.

The passing of Stavros is a great loss for us and we will miss him dearly.

EGO Scientific Group

Our lives have crossed several times during more than 30 years. First, in the nineties, we were together at DELPHI, at CERN, searching systematically for signs of “New Physics”. Stavros was one of the main authors of “SUSYGEN” a MonteCarlo code that was a precious tool in many analysis at LEP. Then, in the beginning of this century, in the early organization of Astroparticle Physics in Europe, with APPEC and Aspera. Stavros was the leading force putting people and countries together.

Later on, in the beginning of the last decade, in the Pierre Auger Observatory. Stavros has served as the chair of the Auger Financial Board in a critical time where the future of the collaboration was in discussion. Finally, in the support of many Education and Outreach activities, namely helping, whenever asked, the IDPASC PhD network.

We will greatly miss Stavros as a visionary and a builder and above all as a friend we could always count with. 

Mário Pimenta, LIP president

Negli ultimi anni, Stavros e io ci siamo trovati a convergere su interessi di ricerca simili, una strana coincidenza ogni volta che passavo a un nuovo argomento, c’era anche lui. È successo con gli allarmi sismici per i rivelatori di onde gravitazionali, poi con le applicazioni di apprendimento automatico per i rivelatori di onde gravitazionali, poi con l’array di sensori robotici a Virgo, poi con i rivelatori di onde gravitazionali sulla luna. E’ stato strano, perché non abbiamo mai pianificato di fare questi passi insieme. Si è sempre rivelato un immenso supporto per la mia ricerca. Speravo di poter fare qualche altro passo insieme a lui negli anni a venire.

Jan Harms

On 9 June this year in Berlin, during a break between sessions of the APPEC meeting, Stavros relaxed in the only big chair of the large hall, raised halfway up. He looked to me like a kind of prince of our community sitting on his throne. I took this photo with my mobile phone and his amused yet ironic expression says something about his personality.
I realise now that I would not have taken that photo if I did not love him.
The next day he wanted to take Marica and me downtown to visit the fantastic atelier of Tomas Saraceno, his friend and famous multifaceted artist.
It was just the last of the many moments we experienced together over the years for which I am grateful to him.
And yes, he was a Prince in our community.

Eugenio Coccia

Non potrò mai dimenticare la sua forza, il suo entusiasmo, la sua visione. Cercava in tutti modi di abbattere muri e costruire ponti, creare collaborazioni, promuovere nuove idee, un profondo sostenitore dell’astronomia multi-messaggera su cui spesso ci trovavamo a discutere e sognare insieme per il futuro pensava al mondo e al suo futuro dedicandosi a sostenibilità e cambiamenti climatici. Quei colleghi che non puoi dimenticare perché oltre al lavoro percepisci un’affinità umana che va al di là del lavoro. Continueremo a fare ricerca seguendo la strada che ci hai insegnato.

Marica Branchesi

Caro Stavros,

ci siamo scritti tante volte in questi anni e parlati in altrettante occasioni, per questo ti ringrazio per la tua pacatezza ed equilibrio, anche in alcune discussioni più impegnative.
Ho sempre ammirato la tua forza di resistere ad un male ingiusto, che hai combattuto fino alla fine senza indietreggiare di un solo millimetro, solo i grandi ci riescono.
Ho apprezzato il tuo interesse per le questioni umanistiche, che hanno dato un valore aggiunto ad una comunità scientifica spesso troppo meccanica ed arida di comprensioni più ampie.
Forse la tua terra di origine, terra di filosofi, ti aveva prestato alla scienza più dura per aprirla al pensiero critico ed esplorativo, che è la via delle grandi scoperte scientifiche.
Un ultimo plauso al tuo grande entusiasmo per la divulgazione e la piena condivisione della scienza verso il pubblico più vasto.
Che la tua terra ti accolga con l’onore che porti in dote.

Un carissimo saluto

Massimo D’Andrea

Ho appena saputo della morte di Stavros Katsanevas.

Stavros era appassionato alla fisica.

Conosciuto a livello internazionale, Stravros è stato un promotore instancabile di parecchi progetti europei e un punto di riferimento per EGO prima di diventarne il direttore. Ho avuto più volte l’occasione di apprezzare la sua ampia cultura scientifica e la sua preoccupazione di condividerla con il pubblico.

Sono triste.

Esprimo le mie condoglianze a tutto il personale di EGO e vi prego di portarle anche a sua moglie Angelica.

Jacques Colas, ex direttore di EGO

I haven’t had the chance to spend much time with Stavros, but I had the luck of meeting him in person and getting to know his kind, interesting and special energy. He was a special person and from our brief encounter, he made sure to send me a special message and encourage me to keep defying my also special mother (but in a positive way, of course) 🙂
I will keep a warm memory of Stavros.

Priscila Doran

Un ormai lontano venerdì del 2019, sotto una scrosciante pioggia, Stavros è entrato nel mondo pop del Pisa Book Festival in compagnia del Premio Nobel Barry Barish e ha regalato al pubblico attonito del Festival una inaspettata lezione sulla scoperta delle onde gravitazionali. Da quel giorno questo geniale astrofisico è stato un amico fedele del Festival e ha mostrato nei suoi brevi ma illuminanti interventi come la scienza e l’astronomia fanno parte integrante della nostra vita di tutti i giorni, ci ha insegnato a guardare le stelle come fonte di ispirazione, in altre parole, ci ha spronato ad essere cosmici. Come un moderno Ulisse, Stavros resterà un modello da seguire nel viaggio di scoperta che è la vita di ognuno di noi. Lo ringraziamo per questo.

Lucia Della Porta, direttrice del Pisa Book Festival

It was a pleasure to work with Stavros. He was inspiring and a great visionary. Our condolences to his family and friends

Claudia Magdalena Fabian and Elisabeth Unterfrauner, Centre for Social Innovation

It was a privilege and an honor to work alongside Stavros for the past three years. Stavros was not only a world-class physicist, but also a true intellectual, with a great humanist culture and a true passion for critical thinking. I will miss his enthusiasm and the many inspiring conversations we had over these years.

Francesca Spagnuolo

Beyond all his incredible scientific achievements, leading force and inspireful vision, bringing together scientific community as diverse as gravitational waves, astro particles, geophysics, quantum physics, … we remember a gentleman, propagating his creativity, scientific curiosity, enthusiasm and openness to arts and humanities, with tact and delicacy. We express here our deepest condolences to his family, relatives, friends and colleagues.

Paul-Eric Pottie and Sébastien Merlet, SYRTE, Observatoire de Paris

Caro Stavros,
ti ho conosciuto poco e troppo tardi purtroppo.
Le tue parole dette alla presentazione di Frange d’Interferenza rimarranno per me sempre un faro, un esempio di ciò che cerco di realizzare mettendo l’arte dentro il mondo scientifico. Pensando al sentimento, a quei miti antichi, per cui tu, essendo profondamente greco, sono convinto ti sarebbe piaciuto sentire dalle mie parole il mio amore per quel mondo.
C’eravamo messi d’accordo per un caffè, per parlare di questo, di alcuni dei miei lavori che ti erano piaciuti, del futuro del progetto.
Volevo poi che introducessi con quelle tue parole il catalogo dell’installazione.
Poi tutto è precipitato…
Niente saluti, niente caffè.
Troppo tardi ti ho conosciuto per godere della tua presenza.
Ho perso diverse persone in questo modo, tra parenti e amici. Sempre troppi!
Un dispiace un casino guarda…

Luca Serasini

I first met Stavros in 2014 at an event organized for the Genoa Science Festival.

The event consisted of a four-voice lecture (Matteo Barsuglia, Erica Chassande-Mottin, Eugenio Coccia, and Stavros) on the observational perspectives of ground-based interferometers with an incursion into the territory of the cosmic background of gravitational waves, motivated by the recent announcement (March 2014) by the BICEP-2 collaboration of the B-mode observation.

In his talk Stavros put – as always – all of himself. He spoke in Italian, French, English and, occasionally, in Greek, outlining an ideal journey that started from the myths of antiquity and arrived at the science of gravitational waves and multimessenger astrophysics, managing to convey to an audience of non-experts concepts that were not simple thanks to his enthusiasm and his natural ability to “connect” with the people in front of him.

Unfortunately, Stavros had to leave Genoa soon after his talk, but I remember that evening at dinner, with Matteo and Eric, we talked again about the afternoon’s talk, commenting that for Stavros the separation between the “two cultures,” the classical and the scientific, did not make any sense and that his vision was much “higher,” recognizing in all manifestations of human culture a common root, the mirror of the deepest human nature.

What remains with me about Stavros is above all this: his being a “humanist” in the most integral and radical sense of the term.

Gianluca Gemme

Ci sono persone i cui occhi brillano di luce incredibile quando raccontano di ciò che amano. Persone che fanno della capacità di visione il senso del proprio essere. Persone il cui passaggio su questa terra è destinato a lasciare un segno profondo e indelebile. Una di queste è stata Stavros Katsanevas, che non smetteremo mai di ringraziare per il contributo che il
suo genio indiscusso e la sua umanità hanno dato alla ricerca scientifica.
A lui, il dovere di provare ad essere all’altezza di quanto ci lascia

Bice del Giudice

En septembre dernier, malgré la maladie, nous avons eu la chance de l’avoir parmi nous lors d’un séminaire du Conseil accueilli par la Fondation Hartung-Bergman où il nous avait parlé avec enthousiasme et pertinence de ses différents projets. Il s’était prêté à un entretien sur son parcours qui sera bientôt mis en ligne. Outre sa curiosité et son approche humaniste des sciences, nous regretterons sa générosité et son extrême gentillesse.

Conseil artistique et scientifique de la Chaire arts & sciences

I took my time to write about Stavros. The news was a real shock to me and several people here in Mendoza. It is not a surprise what you, dear friends, are sharing about your own experiences with Stavros.

Probably you do not know but for the last four years part of ITeDA Mendoza worked with him and other colleagues from different big physics facilities in Europe in a project of Citizen Science  imagined and proposed by him, REINFORCE. We were invited to participate because our participation in Auger, but mainly because we are working since some time ago in data sonorization (and I have a PhD student making a Thesis on that topic), a multimodal or multi sensorial approach to data analysis and also a project for equity and inclusion. In this subject, we are also working with Pierre Chanial, so…many of us, finally, had a relationship with Stavros.

I am completely devastate, because Stavros was THE persons who believe in our proposal, in a world where equity and inclusion are only  words and nobody is really ready to invest time and money in this kind of crazy projects… he not only believed, was part of several meeting, opened a lot of doors, accepted our vision of the theme giving us a chair at the collaboration as equals, always saying a nice word, pushing the proposal, convincing the evaluators about the benefits of the activity and inspiring the people around him.
For me was a master, a friend, a colleague and, the best chair and spokesperson of the proposal, the best we could have ever had.
We will miss him, but more than that: normally we say that no one is irreplaceable, but I think that does not apply in the case of Stavros.

Beatriz Garcia to QUBIC Collaboration

A la mémoire de Stavros, notre ex-collègue et ex-directeur, qui restera pour moi un brillant modèle d’homme de science, de culture, d’humanisme et de joie de vivre, et que j’ai eu la chance de côtoyer dans divers projets où son enthousiasme irrésistible était capable de faire bouger des montagnes de chercheurs en leur ouvrant de nouveaux horizons où arts et sciences se mélangeaient. J’aurai toujours une pensée spéciale pour lui lors de mes voyages en Grèce, et mes visites dans les lieux et tavernes qu’il avait eu la gentillesse de me recommander à Athènes. Mes sincères condoléances à Angeliki et à toute sa famille.

Véronique Van Elewyck (laboratoire APC)

Today we honor the memory of Stavros Katsanevas, director of the European Gravitational Observatory, a great inspiration to me in the many years I have known him. Stavros was a brilliant scientist, an always-willing collaborator and, above all, a true friend. I will always remember Stavros’ great generosity of spirit from which so many beautiful ideas and projects were born.

With the Arachnophilia community, Stavros and I recently collaborated on a wonderful concert for the New Year, How to hear the universe in a spider/web: A live concert for/by invertebrate rights. Stavros contributed his amazing research on gravitational waves and spoke eloquently on the entangled relationships of both spider/webs and cosmic/webs. Stavros’ intellectual mentorship was also instrumental in guiding my exhibition On Air at Palais de Tokyo in 2018, to whose magazine Stavros also contributed a fantastic article.

I remember, even, introducing my father to Stavros, who received him with warmth and grace in Pisa during our visit to the gravitational wave detector Virgo. All of these memories, including Stavros’ many visits to my Berlin studio, remain in the wake of his passing. It is truly one of the great privileges of my life to have known him.

Stavros and I corresponded briefly last month, when he checked in to send me a photo of a spider web just outside of the gravitational wave detector in Pisa.

Sending all my love to Stavros’ family, and to his many collaborators, students and colleagues in this difficult time. Rest in Peace.

Tomas Saraceno

I have known Stavros only from APOGEIA meetings, but I have always been inspired by his creativity, hard work, enthusiasm, and tact. I am moved to hear this sad news—my condolences to his family and friends.

Jakub Ciazela

Stavros was a force of good: every meeting with him has been enriching and inspiring, both as a professional and as a human being.
We promise to uphold his legacy of inquiry, discovery, community building, and education.

The Lisbon Council

Professor Katsanevas was a Human, Scientist and Thinker, a Visionary with an open and sharp mind, who thought “outside the box”, promoted cooperation, paved new ways and gave space and support for new ideas to grow. He was a charismatic, open, optimistic and tireless person who led by example. A person who never gave up, even in face of great difficulties but only moved forward, faithful to the vision of understanding the world, connecting science with society, education and art. He leaves behind a great work and a great intellectual legacy. He was a man who gave opportunities to young people and was their helper. In the 4 years that I worked with him, he honored me with his trust, opened the door of his house to me and made me feel familiarity and equality. Every interaction with him was a lesson and for that I thank him from the bottom of my heart. 

In closing, I will share one of his most recent communications where he happily announced to us that: “I touched eternity, I became an accomplished American cartoon” , on the occasion of a podcast he did to bring Gravitational Wave Astronomy closer to children. 

May you rest in peace Professor. 

Emmanuel Chaniotakis

Stavros was one of our best students in the last 50 years. In science he shone as a star in the cosmos he so much loved and offered. A charismatic man, whose path will remain unshadowed.

Apostolos Panagiotou, Professor Emeritus of Physics, University of Athens

The Board of Directors of the National Observatory of Athens (NOA) is deeply saddened by the death of our dear colleague, friend and member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the National Observatory of Athens, Stavros Katsanevas. Stavros was a Professor of Astroparticle Physics and Cosmology at the University of Paris VII ─ Denis Diderot and one of the leading international physicists having held senior positions in various European research institutions (CERN, APPEC etc.), with his last position being the Director of EGO/Virgo (European Gravitational Observatory) in Pisa, Italy. In addition to being an excellent physicist, Stavros Katsanevas was also a man of many talents and interests, both in scientific fields beyond his immediate speciality and in cultural matters. With his multifaceted activities, he systematically highlighted both the interdisciplinarity of Science and the interconnection of Science and Arts in its various aspects. We had the pleasure and honor of working with Stavros and he will be remembered with love and respect.

On behalf of the Governing Board of NOA, Prof. Manolis Plionis – Director & President of the BoD, National Observatory of Athens

Il Sindaco Michelangelo Betti e l’amministrazione comunale esprimono profondo cordoglio per la scomparsa del professor Stavros Katsanevas, e si uniscono al cordoglio di tutta la comunità scientifica di EGO e della famiglia

Comune di Cascina

Il Comune di Lajatico esprime le più sentite condoglianze allo staff del Prof. Stavros Katsanevas, prematuramente scomparso.

Comune di Lajatico

Partecipo al dolore della famiglia e di voi tutti per la prematura scomparsa del Prof. Stavros Katsanevas, scienziato insigne e uomo colto e giusto.

Avv. Luca Marra

Il ricordo immediato che mi viene quando ripenso agli incontri con Stavros sono passione,competenza e disponibilità, non avendo strumenti personali di giudizio per quella che era la sua materia, dove visti i risultati di eccellenza internazionali da lui raggiunti sembra una ovvietà, la sorpresa per me era la sua passione e competenza nella cultura popolare ed in particolare sulla musica che è stato il nostro terreno comune d’incontro.
Mai banale nelle sue considerazioni e nei suoi ascolti traspariva anche una voglia di essere partecipe ed incisivo, rimane un grande rimpianto di non potere sviluppare insieme un progetto condiviso.

Nicola Zaccardi – presidente Associazione Metarock, direttore artistico giardino La Nunziatina

Sei venuta qui a Pisa appositamente per presentarmi questo progetto? Con questa domanda Stavros ha intuito la nostra determinazione e le ha dato nuova forza: era il 2018 ed è bastato un confronto informale perché il progetto di documentario artistico Surfing Einstein venisse accolto, venisse capito, prima ancora che lo capissimo noi. Perché le porte di Virgo ci venissero aperte. Poi il workshop di danza, le riprese, le interviste, gli acuti scambi di vedute. Un sodalizio importante e profondo fino alla primissima proiezione privata e poi alla première a Virgo a settembre 2022.

Stavros è stato e rimane per noi una luce che invita tutti quelli che la vedono ad andarle incontro, ad avere fiducia e a sentirsi accolti in un manto d’innocente entusiasmo. Innocenza ed entusiasmo, due qualità che Stavros ha saputo mantenere e curare con saggezza, cosciente della loro vitale importanza. Ci sentiamo molto fortunate e ringraziamo il cammino che ci ha portato a lui: continueremo questo viaggio con la sua compagnia, lasciandoci portare dalla sua ispirazione.

Surfing Einstein ti deve tantissimo e ti ricorderemo attraverso di lui ovunque lo porteremo. Un abbraccio cosmico e danzante,

Margherita, Meritxell, Marcus e Daniil

Dear Stavros, sadness enveloped us when we received the news that you are now going to spread your inspirations regarding scientific knowledge somewhere else, but we are sure that you will convince and inspire there as well. APPEC and astroparticle physics owe a lot to you and we ourselves have felt always comfortable around you. This is a great gift and we will miss you.

Andreas Haungs,  APPEC

The last time I spoke with Stavros Katsanevas, he said that he wanted to write about my work. Sadly, instead, I find myself writing about an extraordinary man who had become a dear friend and is no longer here.
I am an artist who has been deeply inspired by scientists’ search to comprehend the multiple worlds that surround us. I have had a long relationship with the Leonardo Network through whom I became the first artist in residence at the Space Sciences Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley.

Stavros was a scientist whose breadth of culture included not only different areas of science to his own specialty in Astroparticle Physics and ‘multi-messenger’ Astronomy but also Philosophy, Mythology and the Arts. His knowledge in all these areas was gargantuan, connecting as he did the diverse disciplines with brilliance and humour.

I met Stavros through his colleague and predecessor as Director of APC, Pierre Binetruy. I had met Pierre because we were both speakers in a discussion relating Art and Science in London, after which he invited me to be a resident artist at APC, pending funding from the Fondation Carasso, on whose board Stavros acted in an advisory capacity. I quote from an email Pierre sent me at that time: “The discovery of gravitational waves really opens a new era for understanding not only our Universe, but also the nature of space and time. This discovery has been compared to Galileo turning his telescope to observe the moons of Jupiter. And indeed, our times could be compared with the Renaissance period, when our scientific and artistic understanding and representation of the Universe underwent some major changes. The project is to assemble an interdisciplinary team of scientists and artists in order to confront ideas about this changing of paradigm for the universe not just around us, but also in its extreme dimensions of space and time. »

Pierre did receive the funding but tragically died before the residencies began. It was then that Stavros took up the baton and became my host at APC in Paris and then at EGO in Pisa. The composition of the residency was, as Pierre had imagined, made up of people of diverse disciplines, scientists, artists, a philosopher, and an art and science historian who spoke about the importance of horizons. We began by each giving a short talk about our interests and work, after which we were shown around the laboratory in Paris, and in Pisa we were shown the extraordinary gravitational wave detector. These sessions lasted for about two years, meetings held on Zoom or in person in both places.
Stavros explained ‘multi-messenger’ astronomy with such clarity and enthusiasm that I recall the thrill I experienced at this new frontier being opened, a temporal frontier leading to ‘views’ of the beginning of the Universe.
Stavros organised ‘The Rhythm of Space’, an ambitious and successful exhibition in Pisa at the Museo della Grafica, Palazzo Lanfranchi, the same beautiful building where the poet Lord Byron lived in 1821 and where he finished the Cantos of Don Juan. Stavros funded the making of Gravity’s Dance, the work I made for the exhibition, saying that it resembled a recent scan of the Milky Way seen in profile.
Stavros visited my husband Stephen and me in Umbria on his way to Greece in 2020 and then on his return to Pisa in the autumn of 2021, bringing us salt and ouzo. He was emaciated and could hardly eat the delicious Italian meal but, when, concerned, I asked him about his health, he joked about how he had explained Black Holes to his surgeon during a recent operation. When I asked him whether his precarious condition frightened him, he told me that he just got on with living. Like Einstein, he understood that there was very little difference between what was inside him and what was outside.

My deepest condolences to his wife Angeliki and his family.

Liliane Lijn

J’exprime mes plus profondes condoléances à la femme de Stavros et à sa famille. J’ai eu l’honneur de connaître Stavros il y a plus de 20 ans lors de ma thèse, il avait en particulier était le rapporteur dans mon jury. Nos chemins se sont croisés à nouveau ces dernières années avec son rôle de directeur d’EGO. J’ai eu beaucoup de plaisir à interagir avec lui lors des conseils EGO et j’ai admiré la passion pour son travail, y compris dans les derniers jours de sa vie avec l’énergie qu’il a mis malgré la maladie pour préparer le conseil de décembre, auquel malheureusement il n’a pas pu participer. Le jeudi d’avant son décès j’étais présent à Lyon pour une présentation qu’il a donnée, sans doute depuis son lit d’hôpital. Cette présentation longue de plus de 30 minutes a montré la force incroyable et la passion qui l’animaient, et tous ceux présents ce jour-là et qui connaissaient son combat contre la maladie ont été infiniment émus de ces efforts. Stavros a embrassé une carrière extrêmement riche avec de nombreuses responsabilités très importantes. En particulier en France il a été le père de la physique des astroparticules, et il a été l’un des architectes du consortium européen APPEC. Malgré ses nombreuses responsabilités, Stavros était quelqu’un de très disponible, de toujours positif, avec une humeur égale, sans jamais rentrer dans des conflits stériles. L’impact qu’il a eu à l’IN2P3 se transcrit dans les centaines de témoignage et l’émotion que son décès a suscité. Adieu Stavros.

Vincent Poireau, scientific director for astroparticle & cosmology at IN2P3, vice-president of the EGO council”

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Here we have collected articles that international newspapers and magazines have published in memory of Prof. Stavros Katsanevas.