World Press Photo has revoked a prize awarded last month to photographer Giovanni Troilo, on the grounds that Troilo’s entry “was not in compliance with the entry rules,” according to an announcement on the World Press Photo web site.
Troilo had said his project, “The Dark Heart of Europe,” winner of 1st prize stories in the Contemporary Issues category, was shot in Charleroi, a town near Brussels. But World Press re-opened an investigation into the work yesterday after reports surfaced that not all of the images were shot in Charleroi. (See PDN Pulse: “Controversial World Press Photo Winner Under New Scrutiny.”)
“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,” World Press Photo said in its statement today.
As a result of the disqualification, Giulio di Sturco, winner of second prize for stories in the Contemporary Issues category, has been named the first place winner. His winning entry is about the film industry in China. And third place winner Tomas van Houtryve has been elevated to second place, for a project about surveillance drones.
Controversy over Troilo’s project erupted last week over questions about whether he had staged some of his photos, in particular a photograph of a couple having sex in a parked car. One of the subjects in the photograph turned out to be Troilo’s cousin, and Troilo says he placed a flashlight in the car with the subjects’ consent to help him light the picture.
But World Press Photo initially defended Troilo and the jury’s decision to award him the prize, on the grounds that Troilo argued the photo was not “staged,” because the photograph depicted something the subjects normally do.
Accusations yesterday that Troilo didn’t shoot all of the images in Charleroi gave World Press a chance to reconsider its earlier decision to sustain the prize.
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