Pioneering war photographer Gerda Taro's images vandalised in Leipzig

An open-air display of images by the war photographer Gerda Taro has been vandalised in Leipzig, Germany, Monopol reports. The works, which depict scenes of conflict including the Spanish Civil War, were covered in black paint on the night of Wednesday, 3 August.

The exhibition organisers, f/stop festival, say in a statement: How a work of art is handled in the public space is always a litmus test for the state of a community. Unlike the protected space of a museum or gallery, a work in the public realm is under the protection of us all. The organisers believe the act was politically motivated and a police investigation has been launched.

Taro was born Gerta Pohorylle into a German Jewish family in 1910. She escaped the Nazis in 1933, fleeing from Leipzig to Paris where she met the Hungarian photographer Robert Capa (then called Andr Friedmann). Together they travelled to Spain where they documented the Spanish Civil War. Taro was killed there on assignment in 1937, becoming the first female war photographer to die in action.

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