VATICAN CITY – Retired Associated Press photographer Nick Ott met with Pope Francis on Wednesday and gave him a copy of a Pulitzer Prize-winning photo of a naked Vietnamese girl running down the street naked.
Kim Fook, who later resettled in Canada and raised a family there, met with former cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio several years ago in his hometown of Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he traveled as part of his work as a UN culture goodwill ambassador. Agency
“He saw the picture and immediately remembered it,” Piazza told the AP moments after the camel encounter. Kim Fook said she is not sure if Francis will remember her, she meets hundreds of people every day.
“But he remembers very well. He said, ‘I remember you, I know you. Do you remember that we met in Buenos Aires? ‘ And I said, ‘Yes, I do. I said, ‘God bless you for what you have done for good health and peace.’
Ut and Kim Phuc were in Italy to open an exhibition of her photographs in Milan before the anniversary of her “Napalm Girl” photo. Such images have a powerful effect on Francis: he has previously handed out pocket-sized copies of another wartime photograph of a young Nagasaki boy carrying his dead brother on his back, which was taken by an American military photographer during World War II.
Francis, who named himself after the peace-loving Saint Francis of Assisi, printed on the “Fruit of the War” photo.
Ut took pictures of Vietnam when he was just 21 years old, then set aside his camera to take 9-year-old Kim Fook to the hospital, where doctors saved his life.
“I was the only one there with my driver, then I said I didn’t want to go because I knew he was going to die,” the camel recalled. “Then I picked him up, put him in the van and took him to the hospital.”
Ut later became an Los Angeles-based AP photographer, photographing A-list celebrities until retiring from the news agency in 2017.
Recalling the horrors of that day, Kim Fook said that 50 years ago, he was known to the world only as a victim of war.
“But now, 50 years later, I am no longer a victim of war. I am a mother, a grandmother and a survivor calling for peace, ”he said.