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Kofi Annan portrait shortlisted for photography prize

SHORTLISTED: The photo portrait of Kofi Annan by Anoush Abrar

A BLACK and white photographic portrait of Kofi Annan could be chosen as the winner of a prestigious British arts prize.

The image of the former United Nations secretary general was taken by Anoush Abrar and has been shortlisted with three other works for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize.

The award recognises the best contemporary works of portrait photography, with the selected winner getting a £12,000 prize.

Abrar, who was born in Tehran but lives in Switzerland, is reported to have taken the photograph of Annan with his eyes closed during a photo-shoot that only lasted three minutes.

There were 5,410 submissions to this year’s prize, from both amateur and professional photographers – judges had to whittle down their selection to 60 works that will be on display in November at the National Portrait Gallery, central London.

CONTENDER: A full view of Abrar's entry of Annan

Tim Eyles, a judge on the Taylor Wessing panel, said: “It was with excitement and a sense of privilege that I approached the judging for this year's awards - and all the anticipation was duly fulfilled.

“Wistfully, we had to leave some much-admired works behind. The shortlisted photographers fully deserve our congratulations, the selection of their portraits for show from the thousands submitted is a great testament to their manifest quality.”

His fellow judges include: Sandy Nairne, director of the National Portrait Gallery; Kate Bush, head of Barbican Art Galleries; and photographer Suki Dhanda.

The other shortlisted photographers for the main prize are Dorothee Deiss, Giles Price and Spencer Murphy – and renowned international diplomat Annan will find out if his visage claims top spot on November 12.

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