Photographer sues EMI over Blur pictures thrown in bin
A top rock photographer has taken legal action against EMI after his iconic images of the band Blur were allegedly thrown away by a cleaner at the record company's offices.
Paul Postle and his business partner have launched a High Court bid for damages against EMI Records, part of the troubled British music group.
They claim EMI failed to take care of €197,000-worth of Mr Postle's film and prints, then took so long to reveal they had been destroyed that the pair missed their chance to claim against the cleaning company involved.
Mr Postle, as Blur's "official photographer", was behind most of the photos of the indie band at its height, according to court papers.
Although he owned the images and materials, EMI is said to have agreed to store the negatives for easy access.
In May 2007, Mr Postle said he received a call from EMI's lawyer who told him that his and other photographers' materials had been destroyed by a cleaning company.
EMI said they were suing and wanted his help to work out the value of what was lost.
Statements relating to that case said that in 2001, an EMI archivist had filled three boxes with prints and negatives to be sent elsewhere.
EMI said staff left a note reading "Not Rubbish, Do Not Remove", but a cleaner allegedly disposed of the boxes "by placing them for compaction in a waste compactor and collection by refuse collectors".
Film from Blur's shoot for the Parklife album is alleged to have been destroyed, as well as valuable images of The Beatles, according to the earlier legal action.
A spokesman for EMI declined to comment.
Separately, a battle over the sale of the group is set to go to trial later this month in New York, after a judge ruled it could proceed to a jury. The case centres on allegations by Terra Firma, the private equity firm founded by Guy Hands, that it was misled by US bank Citigroup over its decision to buy EMI in 2007.