Anish Kapoor Furious as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Calls Cloud Gate Plagiarism ‘Flattery’
Anish Kapoor angrily accused China of “blatant plagiarism” after images of an installation in the north-western town of Karamay emerged last week which appeared almost identical to the British artist’s Chicago-based Cloud Gate (2006).
The Indian-born artist and new Instagram user called on Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel to join him in condemning the copyright infringement and support him in his planned legal action against Chinese authorities.
However, the Wall Street Journal reported that mayor Emanuel seemed oblivious to the dispute when asked about the Chinese imitation of Chicago’s “Bean” sculpture.
“‘Imitation is the greatest form of flattery’ is what I would say. And if you want to see original artwork like this or like the Bean, you come to Chicago,” he said.
The mayor’s unconcerned position on the matter angered Kapoor, who penned an open letter to Emanuel last Thursday in which he expressed that he was “astonished,” by the mayor’s comments.
“Cloud Gate, ‘The Bean,’ has been a major feature of Chicago’s landscape for over a decade and has helped keep in view Chicago’s vision of itself as the most modern city in America, if not the world. I am therefore astonished at your statements about the Chinese copy of the sculpture Cloud Gate as that of an act of flattery,” the artist wrote.
He added “I feel compelled to ask what other businesses and innovators from Chicago have had their copyrighted material stolen in a similar way? Will you call this flattery too?”
The mayor’s office has not responded to Kapoor’s statement.
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