Lebanon photo exhibit closed because of anti-Israel 'censors'

By Jennifer Lipman, May 24, 2011

Anti-Israel activists in Lebanon forced a prestigious international photography competition to close its exhibition because it included the work of an Israeli journalist.

The organisers of the annual World Press Photo exhibit said they refused to give in to the protesters who wanted Amit Sha'al's work to be removed from the gallery.

Instead, they closed the show after just eight days. Erik de Kruijf, a World Press manager, said they would not allow "censorship of any kind".

"That's why we decided to take everything down."

Mr Sha'al was one of 60 artists from around the world whose talents were celebrated in the exhibition.

He won the third prize in the arts and entertainment category of the Dutch competition for photographs which contrasted modern life in Israel with scenes of the past.

The show was set to remain in Beirut until the end of May, before the winning photographs were displayed in galleries in the UK and Israel as part of a touring exhibit.

Last updated: 5:19pm, May 24 2011