AMSTERDAM (AP) — The Associated Press has withdrawn a series of eight photographs showing raindrop-covered pictures of victims of the November 2015 Paris attacks that were awarded third prize in the People Stories category of the World Press Photo competition.
The news cooperative said in a statement Friday that the photos, by Spanish photographer Daniel Ochoa de Olza, were submitted to the competition in error. They were never distributed by the AP, the company's criteria for entering work in contests, because the originating photographers of the images had not given written permission for their use.
Ochoa de Olza also won second place Thursday in the same category for portraits of young Spanish girls sitting in decorated altars as part of a spring festival.
"We sincerely regret the inconvenience our withdrawal of these eight photos has caused World Press Photo and we will take immediate steps to prevent this from happening again in any photojournalism contest," the AP said in a statement from Vice President for Photography Santiago Lyon.
The Amsterdam-based World Press Photo Foundation said that third place would now be awarded to Magnus Wennman for his series of photos titled "Where the Children Sleep," documenting the vulnerable situation of refugee children.
""The jury had an abundance of quality photography to choose from in each category, and our processes are organized so we can accommodate an unforeseen circumstance_such as the withdrawal of a story by the owner of the entry. We are delighted to give the third-prize award to Magnus Wennman, a very worthy winner," said Lars Boering, managing director of the World Press Photo foundation.
"We're sorry that Daniel Ochoa de Olza's third-prize award cannot stand given the request to withdraw the entry, but we're happy that Daniel has also won second prize in the same category for his 'La Maya Tradition' story," Boering added.