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January 13, 2010

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Victorious photos 'combined' works

A WINNER of a photographic contest from northeastern China's Jilin Province has had the honor revoked because four of his works were suspected of not being his work or at least not in accordance with the rules.

The judging panel of the eighth golden award for domestic photographers issued a circular late on Monday saying four works offered by Sang Yuzhu didn't comply with the rules of the contest, China News Service reported yesterday.

Sang, executive vice chairman of Jilin's photographers' association, issued a statement claiming the photos had been joint works by him and two other Jilin photographers, Meng Tie and Wen Bo.

Meng and Wen backed Sang's story during the contest organizer's investigation.

The organizer decided joint contributions were unacceptable as the contest is the highest domestic honor for individual photographers.

The golden award has been held every two or three years since 1989, with up to 10 photographers honored each contest.

The scandal was exposed by a retired editor of People's Daily last Wednesday.

Xu Lin said on his blog that he had received a report saying that four of Sang's 10 award-winning works were almost the same as photos by Meng and Wen published several years ago.

Wen said the photo was jointly taken by him and Sang at the same sightseeing platform on Changbai Mountain in December 2003 while Meng said Sang was his teacher.

All three are now uncontactable.

Several forgery scandals have hit China's photography circle in the past few years.

Zhang Liang's photo showing pigeons receiving bird flu vaccine shots from medical workers in front of Sophia Cathedral in Harbin that won the top prize in the first China International Press Photo Contest, held by the Photojournalist Society of China in 2005, was later found to be manipulated using Photoshop software.

Zhang later apologized.

Also, Daqing Evening News, based in the oil city Daqing, apologized and its chief editor resigned in February 2008 over Liu Weiqiang's photo that was found to be pieced together from two shots to show more than 20 Tibetan antelopes roaming peacefully under a Qinghai-Tibet Railway bridge.


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