Nick Ut explains the photo collection he donated to the Vietnamese Women’s Museum on May 6, 2017. (Photo: VNA)
 
 
Hanoi (VNA) - Former Associated Press war photographer Huynh Cong Ut (Nick Ut) donated a set of five historic photos of the American war in Vietnam and a camera he used during the war to the Vietnamese Women’s Museum in Hanoi on May 6.

 

His photo of Phan Thi Kim Phuc, a nine-year-old girl running naked along the road crying from burns inflicted by a napalm bomb dropped by the US in the southern province of Tay Ninh in 1972, won a Pulitzer Prize in 1973.

“The photo has been exhibited at various museums and libraries in the US and millions of people have seen it as a symbol of the fierce war in Vietnam by the Americans,” Ut told Vietnam News. “Women and children are major victims in these photos and I think there is no other place better suited to keep them than this museum.”

“I’m no longer young. I would like these photos to tell the next generations about the war,” he said.

Four other photos were taken at the same place on June 8, 1972, including a photo taken by one of Ut’s colleague, which captured Ut pouring water on Phuc’ body to ease her pain while waiting for a car to take her to the hospital.

Ut also gave the museum a Nikkormat camera, one of the cameras he used during the time he worked for AP as a photo journalist.

“These are valuable photos with long-lasting power,” said Duong Thi Hang, deputy director of the museum. “The photos record war pains of women and children, which helped kick off many anti-war demonstrations in the world.”

The “Napalm Girl” photo shocked the world when it was sent four hours later by the AP office in Sai Gon to AP headquarters in New York, igniting an anti-American war movement in the US and Europe.

The photo won Ut a Pulitzer Prize in 1973, though he did not know what the prize meant when he received the news.

The photo series by Ut also changed Phuc’s life. As a war victim, she has travelled around the world to talk about the American war in Vietnam as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador.

Ut, who was born in 1951 in the southern province of Long An, now resides in Los Angeles.

He worked for the AP as a photo journalist since the age of 16. He had also covered battles in Laos and Cambodia.

After the war in Vietnam ended, he was sent to Japan to work. In 1977, he moved to Los Angeles, where he continued working for AP capturing news events and the lives of Hollywood stars.

Since his retirement in 2007, Ut has returned to Vietnam more often to take pictures of people and landscapes.

The photos he donated will be displayed at the museum, located at 36 Ly Thuong Kiet Street, till May 18, part of a special exhibition themed “Museum and History: Sharing Untold Stories”, before being moved to the museum’s permanent collection.-VNA