World Press Photo award withdrawn in manipulation scandal

An image from La Ville Noire – The Dark Heart of Europe, Photo: Giovanni Troilo/World Press Photo

Organisers of the prestigious World Press Photo awards have revoked a major prize after the entry, which portrayed the gritty Belgian industrial town Charleroi, was accused of being staged in a deepening debate over manipulation of images.

World Press Photo (WPP) said in a statement that the Contemporary Issue World Press Award 2015 granted to Giovanni Troilo for his series “The Dark Heart of Europe” had been withdrawn over “misleading information”.

“The story was not in compliance with the entry rules and therefore the award must be revoked,” the statement said, explaining they had discovered that one of shots was actually taken in Brussels.

“Troilo confirmed over telephone and email that the image had not been taken in Charleroi, contrary to what he submitted to the contest. This falsified information is a violation of the 2015 photo contest entry rules,” it said.

The series, focusing on urban decay in Europe, had sparked controversy and anger in Charleroi, with the mayor claiming it was a “serious distortion of reality” and calling for the award to be withdrawn…

….The series sparked a storm on social media and the WPP initially defended Troilo, saying they had no problem with his photo of a couple having sex in a car, which was criticised as staged as one of the people shown was the photographer’s cousin…