'I'm Obviously Upset': Photos Stolen From Outdoor Public Exhibition

'I'm Obviously Upset': Photos Stolen From Outdoor Public Exhibition

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.

Lead Image by Pixabay user TheDigitalWay

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Ivan Lantsov's picture

Goniff galleries, not to insure work is dishonest!

cameramanDop Shanghai Hong Kong's picture

All the 4 pictures in display can be seen there (without any tag) . The work is not lost.

Carl Murray's picture

Totally disorganised? Sounds uniquely Australian to me (an Australian)

Doc M's picture

It is a true shame that the photos were stolen and the event organizer seems to be carefree in his attitude towards the loss. However, the photos are amazing. After living in africa for a bit these touched home and i can envision the people in the communities that i lived in who dressed in this manner. It shows how remiss i was not to document them while i lived there.

Terry Poe's picture

It's not Mona Lisa, just print a few more copies. Non-issue blown out of proportion.

Lee Stirling's picture

Why would organizers and exhibit participants expect such theft (or at least vandalism) NOT to occur at an outdoor public display in a major metropolitan area? I am not surprised that it happened, but I am surprised that nobody was prepared for it to happen.

Iain Stanley's picture

My thoughts exactly

Cedric TOSONI's picture

Excellent method to be Famous!