Shang­hai sculp­ture said to be copy of Bri­tish art­work

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - ByWANGZHENGHUA in Shang­hai wangzhenghua@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

Au­thor­i­ties in Shang­hai are in­ves­ti­gat­ing a sculp­ture along the Huangpu River that has been ac­cused of be­ing a copy of an iconic statue in Lon­don.

The sun­dial-shaped art­work, lo­cated in Pudong New Area’s Dongchang River­front Gar­den, is said to be a copy of Bri­tish artist Wendy Tay­lor’s work Time­piece near the Tower Bridge.

“We are try­ing to find out who the artist is and which department is re­spon­si­ble for the art­work­be­in­glo­cated in the gar­den,” said a public­ity of­fi­cial with the Pudong New Area Plan­ning and Land Au­thor­ity.

He said the gar­den was built in 2006, but that his department took charge of the area in 2009.

“If the sculp­ture is proven to be an in­fringe­ment of the Bri­tish artist’s in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty rights, she can re­port to the city’s in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty ad­min­is­tra­tion,” he added.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port by Bri­tish news­pa­per The In­de­pen­dent on Sun­day, Tay­lor was shocked­tobe­sen­tapho­toofthe Shang­hai sculp­ture, which is al­most iden­ti­cal to her 1973 art­work. She was alerted by an art afi­cionad­owho­sawthe in­stal­la­tion while on hol­i­day, and emailed Tay­lor a photo to check whether the art­work was hers.

“At first, I thought some­one had done a clever Pho­to­shop op­er­a­tion 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.

Sheal­so­toldtheBri­tish­news­pa­per that the Chi­nese sculp­ture is “al­most an ex­act copy” of Time­piece, from the steel ring washer sun­dial with its cen­tral pointer— de­signed to re­sem­ble a dock­yard nail— to the chains sup­port­ing it and base mim­ick­ing Lon­don cob­ble­stones.

No in­for­ma­tion about the Shang­hai art­work’s sculp­tor, mean­ing or when it was cre­ated has been pub­lished.

Zheng Ji­ashi, for­mer deputy direc­tor of Shang­hai Ur­ban Sculp­ture Cen­ter, said on Tues­day that Shang­hai has never been em­broiled in a pla­gia­rism dis­pute in­volv­ing art­work, adding that it might be a lit­tle dif­fi­cult tomake an ap­peal due to a lack of prece­dent.

“How­ever, China at­taches great im­por­tance to the pro­tec­tion of in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty rights, and the statue will def­i­nitely be re­moved if it is proven to have in­fringed on such rights,” he added.

There are about 3,500 stat­ues in pub­lic spaces across the city, with Shang­hai keen to ap­peal to its in­ter­na­tional pop­u­la­tion. WenWenyi con­trib­uted to this story.

GAO ERQIANG / CHINA DAILY

A sculp­ture that is ac­cused of be­ing a copy of an iconic statue in Lon­don is seen along the Huangpu River in Shang­hai on Tues­day.

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