That kiss

2011-06-18 00:00

A PHOTO of a couple lying on the road, embraced in a kiss during a riot in Vancouver this week, has become an overnight Internet sensation.

However, there are questions about whether the photo represents a surreal romantic moment in the midst of chaos, or a couple knocked down by charging police.

The Vancouver Kiss as it’s come to be known, was taken by mistake, by freelance journalist Richard Lam, who was covering a riot sparked by Vancouver’s loss to the Boston ­Bruins in the Stanley Cup ice hockey finals on Wednesday night.

Footage of the riot shows police trying to control the mob with tear gas as thousands of fans of the Vancouver Canucks’ burn cars and break into shops.

Lam said he photographed the couple lying in between the riot police and the angry crowd, unaware of the symbolism it portrayed.

“At first I thought she was hurt. I didn’t even look at it.

“Then I went back to the editing room, and looked at it. My jaw dropped,” Lam said.

The photo symbolises the juxtaposition of love and violence.

Bloggers suggested that the photo was staged to look like the famous shot by Alfred Eisenstaedt of a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square in New York during celebrations marking the end of WW2.

After the photo was tweeted and carried on news sites around the world, people have come forward to offer a less romantic explanation of the image taken by Lam.

William, a witness, told the Vancouver Sun the couple were run over by two riot police officers.

Meanwhile, a woman has contacted the Australian website 9News to claim she is the sister of the man in the photograph, whom she names as Scott Jones, of Perth.

Officials in Vancouver said almost 150 people required hospital treatment and almost 100 were arrested during the riot.

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