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Th. Papayiannis was born in Elliniko, Ioannina, in 1942.
From 1961 to 1966 he studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts on a scholarship, next to Yiannis Pappas.
In 1967 he studied ancient Greek Art and the Art of the Mediterranean Basin, on a two-year domestic Scholarship from the Government Scholarship Service (I.K.Y). His Mediterranean journeys took him to Egypt, Asia Minor, Cyprus, South Italy and Sicily.
Th. Papayiannis has been a Professor of Sculpture at the Athens School of Fine Arts.
He lives and works in Athens, Greece.