Coping Public Sculpture

Read a nice little item in Apollo Mag about some high-profile disputes with public sculpture. I think that many people would agree that modern copyright law is extreme and heavy handed. I haven’t given it much thought but defending the copyright of a popular public sculpture would seem to be a difficult challenge.

I found China’s defense of their copy of the Chicago sculpture, Cloud Gate, to be amusing and thought provoking at the same time:

‘Cloud Gate intends to reflect the sky, but ours reflects the ground,’ Ma Jun, a spokesperson from the Karamay tourism bureau has stated, before adding, ‘You can’t say we’re not allowed to build a round sculpture because there already is a round one.’

In copyright legal cases, like all types of law, you never know how a judge or jury is likely to handle a specific issue:

The sculptor John Raimondi has received damages of $640,000 from the Russian billionaire Igor Olenicoff as the latter made four unauthorised copies of sculptures by Raimondi (manufactured, unsurprisingly, in China) and displayed them publicly. However, in an odd twist to that case, US District Judge Andrew Guilford ruled against the prosecution’s argument that the fakes be destroyed and decreed that the new works be attributed to Raimondi, thus creating four new Raimondis against the artist’s wishes.