Steve McCurry’s Employee Held For The ‘Afghan Girl’ Art Theft

 

The District Attorney’s of Chester County, Pennsylvania, arrested Bree DeStephano on 2 June in connection with the ‘Afghan Girl’ art theft case that includes theft of prints, books and other items from McCurry Studios, worth USD 654,358 (approx. Rs.4,17,94,139). DeStephano (the defendant) was employed as the manager of fine art print sales at McCurry Studios.

The Afghan Girl is one of the best photographs captured by the internationally well-know photojournalist Steve McCurry. This photograph earned global acclaim and fame after it was published on cover page of National Geographic in June 1985.

The Afghan Girl by Steve McCurry on the cover of National Geographic in June 1985

The Afghan Girl by Steve McCurry on the cover of National Geographic in June 1985

“The theft of intellectual property, like photographs, is an ever-growing problem. In order to take photographs like the Afghan Girl, Steve McCurry was exposed to extraordinary risks, tremendous costs, and spent years of his career. Then the defendant casually abused her position of trust to make some easy money, without a thought to the damage to McCurry,” stated Thomas Hogan, District Attorney of Chester County, in a press release.

According to Hogan, DeStephano stole many limited edition photograph prints from McCurry Studios between May 2012 and November 2013. She stole 50 prints worth USD 628,000 (approx. Rs. 4,01,10,642), which DeStephano has directly shipped from Steve McCurry’s Long Island City Studio in New York to her at the Exton studio in Pennsylvania. She also stole McCurry’s 233 books and other items valued at USD 23,196 (approx. Rs.14,81,538).

The stolen photograph prints include Afghan girl, Vertical Durst Storm, The Blue City and Bengali Woman and Child.

Brandon Donahu, manager of Open Shutter Gallery (Colorado) at the time of the thefts, is also allegedly involved in this case.

Tags: District Attorney’s of Chester County, Bree DeStephano, ‘Afghan Girl’ art theft, McCurry Studios, Photojournalist Steve McCurry, Intellectual property, Vertical Durst Storm, The Blue City, Bengali Woman and Child