Thousands of Robert Capa’s negatives previously thought lost have been recovered reports The Observer.
The discovery of the pictures, revealed by The New York Times, is being hailed as a huge event, partly because it is hoped that the negatives could settle once and for all the question that has dogged Capa’s legacy: whether what may be his most famous picture – and one of the most famous war photographs of all time – was staged.
Known as ‘The Falling Soldier,’ the sequence of photographs shows a Spanish Republican militiaman reeling backwards at what appears to be the instant a bullet strikes his chest or head, on a hillside near Córdoba in 1936.
The negatives were left behind in a Paris darkroom when Capa fled Europe for America in 1939. He assumed they were lost during the Nazi invasion and he died in 1954, on assignment in Vietnam, still believing that to be the case.
Then, in 1995, Mexico City film-maker inherited three suitcases of negatives from a relative and had identified the contents as Capa’s masterpieces.
Last week, after years of negotiations over where they should be kept, the legal title to the negatives was transferred by the film-maker, who has asked to remain anonymous, to the Capa estate.