A inspiring story about the parents of Deborah van Praag. One of the early entrepreneurs that came to Ibiza to create a better life for themselves. We dedicate this post to mr Hans van Praag.
A sad story
My father Hans van Praag (Surinam 1902 – Ibiza 1999) came to Ibiza in 1956. He had been 4 years prisoner of war from the Japanese in Indonesia and Thailand (he also worked on the bridge river Kwai). He wanted a place to retire and at a party in Germany a person from Ibiza told him to come to Ibiza.
He opened the 1st art gallery on the island Galeria Tanit in calle Riambau, num 4. It were actually artists like Bechtold, Munford, Broner and Laabs who convinced him to open a gallery and where they all would gather and sit by the fire talking with a big pot of soup.
A Ibiza love story
He met my mother Lied Mesdag who was 29 years and he was 58 years old when they got married here on the island. The Galeria Tanit also became a library, it had a good selection of books in all languages. So there was art and books. Then after a lot hand crafted pieces made by hippies which were made locally or brought from India (all handmade and unique pieces) they would leave them at the gallery to be sold as it was done with the paintings. Around the 60s my mother started bringing in clothes.
The spirit of Ibiza
It became a meeting point for many people who were visiting or living here on the island. Many lived in the campo and when they would come down to town the Gallery was the place. Writers such as Mulisch or Nooteboom or simple tourists they would come in for any reason, even to call by telephone. People loved the gallery and my mother made it very varied in style.
We thank Deborah van Praag for sharing this story with us. Hans van Praag embodies the Ibiza Spirit of love, happiness and sharing. For us this story is a true inspiration to live. We hope that it will be for you.