The photographic exhibition "Jewish presence in Ioannina" by Diamanto Matsa is presented by the "Joseph and Esther Gani" Foundation from Wednesday, July 3 to August 23.

Diamanto Matsa dedicates the exhibition to the memory of her father Joseph Matsa, who saved, recorded, studied and researched many elements from the Jewish tradition of Ioannina, but unfortunately passed away before he could complete his work. Its aim is to record what today proves the existence of a Jewish element in the city, but also what existed and suddenly disappeared.

"Jewish presence is the graves of more than 500 years, which are monuments of cultural heritage. They are the inscriptions and doors of Jewish houses, suddenly found empty trunks, without their inhabitants, but carrying their heavy history. A large part of the exhibition refers to the Holy Synagogue of Ioannina (Kaal Kantos Yasan), where several religious relics, inscriptions and special building elements are preserved. My effort was to include representative elements, so that the visitor has an overall picture of the Jewish life of Ioannina. Some photos of Jewish homes that I took in 2014 were part of an exhibition organized by Isaac Dostis entitled "Exodus", for 70 years "since the houses were emptied".

Already today, many of the photos from recent years do not show the current image, due to demolitions. People also fade over time... The Romaniot tradition is evident throughout the old town, it is part of the town and I hope it continues to be for many years to come. Many thanks to Isaac Dosti, who gave color to my English, and to my sister Allegra, who enlightened my knowledge", says Diamanto Matsa in her note.

Diamanto Matsa was born in 1954 and grew up in Ioannina by Greek-Jewish parents (mother from Karditsa and father from Ioannina). He studied surveying engineering at the National Technical University of Athens and specialized at the Tehnion Institute of Technology, Israel, as a transportation specialist. He initially worked in the private sector and later taught for 25 years in the Topography department of the TEI of Athens. He deals with photography as an amateur. At the age of 20 he attended photography seminars at the Polytechnic. At the age of 40, she studied for only one year, in the Photography Department of TEI of Athens. At the age of 60, she held her first solo exhibition on the subject of "ZOOM" at Gavrielides publications. She is the mother of 38-year-old Ilias.

The "Iosif and Esther Gani" Foundation is housed at 26 Soutsou Street and its opening hours are Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 2 pm, as well as 6 to 9 pm every Wednesday. Information on phone 2651036517 and e-mail:

SOURCE: website, 1.7.2024