German publisher Steidl has been ordered to pay photographer Lawrence Schwartzwald €65,000 / $77,000 after losing his portfolio prints. According to Artnet News, Schwartzwald sent the prints to Steidl in September of 2014 for inclusion in a book project. The photographer was reportedly told in June of 2015 that the project wouldn't proceed, and that he'd get his photos back... but that never happened.

Despite repeated requests, Schwartzwald never did receive his portfolio. And so, after a year of waiting, he filed a lawsuit in a German court against Steidl for the return of his prints, which he valued at $1,200 each. That lawsuit has now culminated in a ruling that Steidl must pay Schwartzwald €65,000 in compensation for the lost prints, plus legal fees.

Gerhard Steidl, the company's founder, gave Artnet News a different version of events, claiming that Schwartzwald's photos had been selected for print publication, but the photographer grew impatient with the duration of the process and requested that his prints be returned.

Regardless of which version of events is true, however, the outcome is the same: Schwartzwald's portfolio went missing.

Steidl acknowledged this in his statement to Artnet, explaining that it was an accident and that the portfolio couldn't be located. "Someone probably packed it incorrectly and it ended up somewhere else, but it's not there anymore," said Steidl. "It just happened, in my opinion I don't deserve the death penalty."