Robert Capa’s Suitcase

Rhondda-born Alun Menai Williams had two remarkable photographs in his collection.
One was a sad reminder of a friend, Billy Davies, who served in the Spanish Civil War, and was killed a few days after the snap was taken.
The other was a source of immense pride. It showed Alun marching to the front, the flag of the British Battalion in his hands.
And it was taken by perhaps the most famous photographer of the 20th Century, Robert Capa.
Alun died three years ago but his inquisitive mind would have been fascinated by the recent discovery of previously unseen Capa negatives.
It is believed that Capa handed the negatives to someone for safe-keeping as he fled France at the outbreak of World War 2.
They have now been unearthed in Mexico.
According to the New York Times they were in an old suitcase – and were virtually untouched for 70 years.
In all, there are around 4,300 negatives taken by Capa, his lover and fellow photographer Gerda Taro, who was killed in Spain, and David Seymour.
However, the discovery does not solve the mystery of Capa’s world famous “Falling Soldier” photograph which appears to show a Spanish Republican militiaman reeling backward in the instant a bullet kills him.
A negative of that photograph has never been found.
All the same, Brian Wallis, chief curator of the US-based International Center of Photography, said: “We consider this one of the most important discoveries of photographic work of the 20th century.”

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