A world of art lost forever to the fire

Artist Yoram Raanan lost decades of artwork when a fire burned down his studio.

Eliran Aharon ,

The remains of Yoram Raanan's studio
The remains of Yoram Raanan's studio
Eliran Aharon

Artist Yoram Raanan never imagined that his life's work could be destroyed in a matter of minutes. But that's exactly what happened when a fire destroyed his studio in Moshav Beit Meir Friday Morning.

Over 150 pictures and paintings were destroyed in the fire.

"It happened at 2:00 in the morning." Raanan told Arutz Sheva. "I was sleeping in the studio...My wife came into the studio. She said 'quick, quick, quick. The fire's here. We gotta go.' I didn't quite take it so seriously, because I didn't think there would be a fire here. I didn't here in the area around here that there was a fire. So she said 'come, come come. Hurry up.' And I come outside and I see spark flying...and I know that my studio is full of flammable material. I knew that it is dangerous. So I just grabbed my wallet and my keys and we jumped into the car. We tried to get out. There's a big problem getting out of the Moshav because everybody was leaving at the same time. There was only one yetzia (exit) of the Moshav, and there was fire on both sides of the entrance to the Moshav. So nobody could get out."

"We were lucky to get out." he said.

Among the thousands of now-lost works Raanan kept in his studio were 150 paintings on the weekly Torah portions which he was saving for a special exhibition.

"There's nothing left." he said of the work, some of it dating back 40 years, which was lost to the flames.

His wife, Meira, said that the destruction of the works in the studio "was a really big loss for art history in general, and for Jewish art in particular."

Raanan pledged to persevere and begin his work again. "I just have to start from the beginning and continue in a good way."

Explore Yoram Raanan's studio at the height of its glory