Four photos by a well-known artist have been stolen from an outdoor exhibition in Sydney's Royal Botanical Gardens but the organizer says there's not much he can do about it.
On Tuesday morning, Australian time, workers noticed that four of Tariq Zaidi's photos from the long running Head On Photo Festival — an outdoor exhibition with multiple locations across the city — had been removed but soon found one hanging from a nearby fence. Presumably the thieves had dropped it during the getaway.
The founder of the festival, Moshe Rosenzveig, was obviously shocked as nothing like that had ever happened over the 10-year span of the festival's existence. However, what surprised me most in his reaction was his tone of seeming resignation and his (in)ability to deal with the situation. He simply hoped that someone would return the photos but, if not, he'd just have to reprint some more. To be honest, I don't know what shocked me more — the fact they had not organized any security cameras to monitor such an accessible, public location; they had no backup prints at hand; or that it would take days to get a reprint. Not to mention the insurance and copyright issues involved and reputational damage in having an artist's work stolen from your exhibition. I mean, I love the idea of outdoor exhibitions and bringing photography into the public domain, but the lack of forethought and contingency planning here rather took me aback. You can read the whole story here.
What are your thoughts? Has this happened at any public exhibitions you've seen or participated in? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.