Statement on allegations of plagiarism against 2020 Photo Contest nominee

2 April 2020

On 10 March 2020 Kaveh Rostamkhani published an article alleging that a nominee in the Environment Stories category, Maximillian Mann, had plagiarised the work of Solmaz Daryani.

The article raises important issues and we take them seriously.

Our first step was to contact the nominated photographer and ask for his response to the article. We then reached out to Solmaz Daryani and asked her to provide a statement. We were also in touch with the 2020 Photo Contest General Jury to discuss the issue.

We have a procedure for dealing with issues arising after a nomination or award is made.

If an entry is the subject of serious allegations that have been documented and presented to us, they will be considered by a post-award review panel comprising of three members - the managing director of the World Press Photo Foundation, Ebba Hoogenraad, lawyer and former member of the Supervisory Board of WPPF, and the chair of the relevant jury. Because Mann was nominated in the Environment category, the post-award review panel for this case will comprise Lars Boering, Ebba Hoogenraad and Sabine Meyer, chair of the Environment and Nature specialized jury.

The post-award review panel will consider all the information provided by the photographers. They will consider whether or not the entry has broken one or more of our photo contest entry rules, or contravened the contest code of ethics, and should therefore be disqualified. If the panel decides to disqualify the entry, the nomination will be revoked and the pictures will be removed from the World Press Photo website archive and if applicable from other output.

The post-award review panel will meet online next week to consider this case.

Once a decision has been reached, we will notify the photographers and then publish a statement on the decision.