The surprise is not so much about Paul McCain's varnishing the facts and stealing another man's work to claim as his own, but about unwavering support of dishonesty and stealing by SP Harrison and CPH CEO Kintz.
|The crease down the face is on another photo, taken by a Russian,|
so Paul McCain probably took the photo with a perspective correcting lens.
A photograph of a public domain image is not protected by copyright.
"Because the technical reproduction procedure alone does not justify a photo protection...Rather a minimum of personal mental performance is necessary, which is to be denied if a photo or a similarly manufactured product is not any more than the bare technical reproduction of an existing representation."
In the United States, a Federal court decided, in its 1999 case Bridgeman Art Library vs. Corel Corporation, that original, faithful photographs of paintings were not copyrightable, since the originality is missing. (United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, 18 February 1999).....If a raw photograph and/or reproduction of a public-domain original is published in a book, then the predominant jurisdiction assumes this illustration can be reproduced at will, without agreement of the photographer and the publishing house.
Reproductions of public domain works
Canon EOS 5D manual (pp 84-85 on Program AE):