Video: Yorkshire museum saves photo for nation

THIS exotic-looking print – actually shot in a London studio in 1858 – has been saved for the nation by a Yorkshire museum.

The rare image by acclaimed British photographer Roger Fenton was prevented from being exported after the National Media Museum in Bradford intervened.

The Museum and the Art Fund raised 108,000 to acquire it for the National Collection of Photographs.

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The photo captures the contemporary fascination with the Orient and is part of a series of photographs Fenton took after an expedition during the Crimean War.

Despite appearances, this is not a documentary image taken by Fenton during his travels but a carefully staged scene shot in the photographer's north London studio using costumes, props and a hired model.

In staging the scene, the model's hands are held still by tying them above her head with lengths of string fixed to the ceiling, the evidence of which was noted by a reviewer in Photographic News in 1859 who wrote: "A most amusing circumstance, in connection with his picture, is the fact that one of the 'tricks' which enable the composer to produce an effect is too palpable."

Plans are being made for the photo to go on display at the museum.