It seems John Raimondi is not the only artist concerned about copies of his sculptures being fabricated in China. British artist Anish Kapoor has accused authorities in China of “blatant plagiarism” after discovering that a stainless steel work that bears a close resemblance to his own work, Cloud Gate, has been built in the town of Karamay in north-west China.
“It seems that in China today it is permissible to steal the creativity of others”, he said in a statement. “I feel I must take this to the highest level and pursue those responsible in the courts,” adding that he hoped that the Mayor of Chicago, where his sculpture has been on view since 2006, would join him in this action.
“The Chinese authorities must act to stop this kind of infringement and allow the full enforcement of copyright,” he said.
Responding to Kapoor’s furious reaction, an employee of Karamay tourism bureau claimed that although their sculpture used the same materials, it had a different meaning. Describing it as “a big oil bubble”, they said “Cloud Gate intends to reflect the sky, but ours reflects the ground.”
Read the Guardian’s art critic Jonathan Jones’ take on the controversy here, where he places it in art historical context.