The writer Constantine Cavafy was ignored during his lifetime but has received international recognition since his death in 1933. His poetry, which focused on such themes as one's moral dilemmas and uncertainty about the future, spoke to the Greek-speaking community around the Eastern Mediterranean and has been translated into all major languages.
The small flat where Cavafy spent the last years of his life has been turned into a museum. Half of it is given over to a re-creation of his home, with a period-piece brass bed and a case of reputedly genuine Christian icons. On the walls is an endless collection of portraits and sketches of Cavafy that only the most vain of men could have hung in his own apartment. The other half of the museum houses newspaper clippings about the poet's life and a library of his works, in the many languages and permutations in which they were published after his death—a remarkable legacy for a man who lived so quietly. There is, as well, a room dedicated to a student of Cavafy named Stratis Tsirkas, who lived in Upper Egypt and wrote a massive trilogy set in the Middle East. And there is one last curiosity: a cast of Cavafy's death mask, serene but disfigured, lying cushioned on a purple pillow.