Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Fire Ravages French Marine Photographers' Studios

The "lighthouse photographer"'s collections destroyed

The famous image of the Pointe des Poulains, Belle-Ile, may be one of those that disappeared in the fire. Image copyright © Philip Plisson.

At about 9am on Sunday, 19th September, an intense fire swept through the galleries of Guillaume and Philip Plisson in Crac'h, La Trinité sur Mer, Brittany, France.

Collections of images of the America's Cup, Vendée Globe and Route du Rhum, are among those that have gone. In terms of author's rights alone, the damage amounts to a loss of between 800,000 and 1,000,000 Euros/year.

« C’est l’œuvre d’une vie qui disparaît," said Philip Plisson. "Il y a des séries entières, des histoires de vie qui ont été détruites. (...) Tout mon inventaire des phares d’Europe. Tout cela a brûlé... » ["A lifetime's work has gone," said Philip Plisson. "There are entire series of life stories which have been destroyed.... All my inventory of lighthouses in Europe."]

"Le Phare de Kereon". Image copyright © Philip Plisson.

The gallery building has been destroyed and the livelihoods of about thirty people directly affected. While the business was experiencing some difficulties, Plisson blamed the recession for this. An accidental cause for the fire is the most likely explanation, but police have not ruled out the possibility of arson.

Note from SailRaceWin: This is a sad reminder to photographers, and others with important data, to keep second copies in another location.

Summarised from Voiles et Voiliers and other sources.