Art pho­tog­ra­pher des­per­ate to get miss­ing im­ages back

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

A fine arts pho­tog­ra­pher is ap­peal­ing for the re­turn of thou­sands of tapu pho­to­graphs stolen from her Otaki home in 2011, im­ages she claims are with a Porirua fam­ily.

Vic­to­ria Ginn’s port­fo­lio of 5000 pho­tos, in­clud­ing sen­si­tive and sa­cred im­ages of rit­u­als, masks, an­ces­tor bones and men’s houses from the Pa­cific, Europe and Asia, dis­ap­peared when her lap­top was stolen in Septem­ber 2011. She did not have a backup for the last five years’ worth of dig­i­tal pho­tos.

Ms Ginn says she had been on a work trip to New York at the time and a Porirua fam­ily liv­ing in her ren­tal cot­tage had of­fered to keep an eye on the place.

Po­lice in­ves­ti­gated but there was not enough ev­i­dence to pro­ceed against the ten­ants, who Ms Ginn sus­pected of com­mit­ting the bur­glary. She evicted them in Oc­to­ber 2011.

Last year her lap­top was tracked to a Ti­tahi Bay ad­dress when some­body bought a car through TradeMe us­ing her name. The lap­top was re­turned to Ms Ginn but all the pho­tos had been wiped.

‘‘I was be­side my­self with rage,’’ she says. ‘‘I’ve had my stand­ing com­pro­mised by the loss of five years’ of work. [It’s] a huge af­front and in­sult to all the peo­ple I’ve pho­tographed,’’ she says.

Ti­tahi Bay- raised Ms Ginn be­lieves copies of the files were made and she val­ues them at $60,000.

Ms Ginn says the pho­tos are eas­ily recog­nis­able as her work, so the thief would be un­able to sell them. Any sale would also be il­le­gal as the copy­right be­longs to her. Ms Ginn is ask­ing for the work to be re­turned.

‘‘I’m ap­peal­ing to their bet­ter na­tures, to their con­science and their own good, to the fu­ture of their own well be­ing. Would they like pho­to­graphs of their gran­nies and sa­cred tribal cul­ture to be taken?’’

Any­one with in­for­ma­tion about the stolen pho­to­graphs can con­tact Vic­to­ria Ginn on 06 367 2284, or anony­mously con­tact Crimestop­pers on 0800 555 111.

Stolen im­ages: An ex­am­ple of Otaki pho­tog­ra­pher Vic­to­ria Ginn’s work. She says 5000 pho­tos were stolen from her lap­top in 2011.

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