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The winning design of a monument for the Amstelpark in Amsterdam is the centre of a copyright dispute. Artist Alicia Framis claims it’s her original idea. Winner Ram Katzir says it’s his.

Square for disappeared people” was exposed in 2007 in an art gallery in Amsterdam, although it was only displayed as a scale model. Although Framis does not claim the idea of an empty chair is original, but a collection of empty chairs is, and is – therefore – copyrighted.

A remarkable part of the story is that the judges in the Commission have asked Framis to submit her work “Square for disappeared people“, but she refused, because Framis considered it not interesting enough. Her surprise was therefore even bigger when she saw Katzir’s winning design.

Katzir claims and shows that his earlier work also features chairs. Framis maintains her position it is theft of her intellectual property. The art world inspires each other, that’s how new art is created. If this is a bit too much of inspiration is something a court must decide.

Source: Het Parool

Erwin Hauër

“Hope is not a strategy.”

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