CEU Mourns Senior Fellow Anna Christidou

Dr. Anna Christidou, a postdoctoral research fellow with CEU’s Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies, died on Sept. 15, 2013 in a car accident in Athens that also killed her father. Our thoughts and sincere condolences are with her husband, who survives her, and with her family.

Christidou joined CEU in September 2011 shortly after defending her outstanding dissertation on “Unknown Byzantine Art in the Balkan Area: Art, Power and Patronage in 12th- to 14th-Century Churches in Albania” at the Courtauld Institute of Art/University of London, which won her one of five 20th anniversary research fellowships at CEU.

Before finding her vocation in Byzantine art history, Christidou pursued a successful career with the Greek Ministry of Finance and, later, the European Union. Her posting to Albania allowed her to forge close ties there, cultivating a deep affection for the country and its people, which she carried into her subsequent academic career.

Characteristically, Christidou enjoyed fieldwork and a hands-on approach, most recently in an unforgettable field trip, leading CEU students and faculty across the ancient and medieval Peloponnesus. Earlier this year she took much joy in receiving a Dumbarton Oaks project grant that would have allowed her to study the neglected medieval church of Shën Mëri, Labovo, Albania. Her unusual love and dedication to Byzantium and its art inspired CEU’s postgraduate students, to whose supervision and intellectual formation she eagerly and lovingly contributed. With equal enthusiasm, she engaged in CEU’s academic activities through several outstanding lectures and last spring's internationally recognized conference, “‘Post-Byzantine’ Art: Orthodox Christian Art in a ‘Non-Byzantine’ World?” which she organized. Christidou’s presence brightened every classroom and seminar.

In addition to her true love for and dedication to her work, her outstanding scholarship and rare expertise on a largely unexplored field of late Byzantine art history, she was, first and foremost, an affectionate and caring friend. Anna touched every life she was part of with her loving kindness and wonderful personality, and we are unbelievably saddened that she is no longer with us.