Three sculptures in a Shanghai park have been dismantled by authorities after the British creator of London’s “Timepiece” blasted one as plagiarising her work, in the latest example of copying in China. Wendy Taylor, whose 43-year-old sundial sculpture stands on the banks of the River Thames near London’s Tower Bridge, told British news outlet The Independent that a holidaying art aficionado alerted her to the apparent replica.
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“At first I thought someone had done a clever Photoshop and changed the background, but then I looked more closely and thought, ‘Oh my God no, this is a complete copy’,” Taylor was quoted as saying in the report published Sunday.
The Chinese version, by an unspecified artist, has stood in a park next to the Huangpu river, which courses through the commercial hub, since 2006, Shanghai media reports said.
It has since been removed and an AFP journalist saw park workers filling its circular base with plants and flowers on Thursday. At the same time AFP witnessed workers removing two other statues, one of which resembled “Lute Being Played by Evert Taube”, which stands in the Swedish capital Stockholm.
The other bore a striking similarity to the centrepiece statue of the Gloucester Fisherman’s Memorial in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Taylor said in an email to the Shanghai Daily that she was delighted by the “wonderful news” of the sculpture’s removal, and she hoped it “had really been destroyed and not just been put somewhere else”.
AFP was unable to obtain comment from Shanghai officials on the artistic brouhaha. Chinese counterfeiters have turned copyright piracy and product mimicry into a fine art, ranging from bootleg DVDs to fake fashion labels and a range of other popular consumer brands.
British artist Anish Kapoor angrily complained last year that his “Cloud Gate” sculpture in Chicago, which resembles a giant shiny metal bean, had been ripped off by a similar design erected in the Chinese city of Karamay.