"By James KilnerThis Reuters news release also points out that Boris Yeltsin, who died Monday, April 23, 2007 was a friend of Rostropovich.
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Mstislav Rostropovich, who died on Friday aged 80, was regarded by many critics as the world's greatest cellist and also became a symbol of the fight for artistic freedom under Communist rule.
While on a European tour in 1978, he and his wife learned of the Kremlin's decision to strip them of Soviet citizenship for what the government newspaper Izvestia called unpatriotic activity.
But in January 1990, in the new climate of Glasnost (openness), Soviet authorities under Mikhail Gorbachev restored the citizenship taken from him and let him return to his homeland."
The world has lost a great artist, cellist, and humanitarian.