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“A Journey to Ios” Museum

As fate would have it, one of Anina’s more ephemeral projects also turned into a lasting place. What started out as a temporary exhibition unexpectedly became a small museum, thus completing her tribute to the island - and to her parents. 

“You nurse the fire” is the last thing her father Christian, a high-profile art director, photographer and gallerist said to his only daughter before leaving the house on a cold spring night in 2016 and, sadly, passing away soon after. Whether this was a premonition on his part or just meant literally, she certainly did keep that fire burning!    

And one of the many ways in which Anina did so, was to plan an exhibition of the photographs her father had taken over four decades to document the life and rituals in this Mediterranean region. But the mayor of Ios had an even better idea and so the Christian Diener Museum was founded. 

With its strong energy, the island of Ios may have attracted many in search of beauty and freedom, but Christian Diener was one of the few who also showed real interest in its inhabitants and their culture. “When my father passed, local people would say: Now a stone is missing in the wall”. 

But perhaps it is good to remember that the beautiful Greek walls, at least when built the old-fashioned way, are dry walls, made without the use of concrete. Even when they crumble, their material can be recycled for something new, which is precisely why Anina chose this type of wall for the “Garden of Ios”. So, what if this particular “missing stone” had just ended up somewhere else? If you look closely, surely you can recognize it very well in the creations of his very talented daughter.

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