It is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but the artist behind Chicago's most famous piece of public art begs to differ.
China is about to reveal a sculpture that is nearly identical to "The Bean" (officially called "Cloud Gate.") According to the state-owned paper People's Daily, the sculpture is the "shape of oil bubble" in honor of the first oil well in the city of Karamay. This is what it looks like:
This is what the Chicago version looks like:
The artist behind "Cloud Gate" said he plans to sue the creator of the apparent copycat.
"It has been reported in the media today that an identical sculpture has been commissioned for the town of Karamay in the Xinjiang region of China," Anish Kapoor said, according to Reuters. "It seems that in China today it is permissible to steal the creativity of others. I feel I must take this to the highest level and pursue those responsible in the courts. I hope that the Mayor of Chicago will join me in this action. The Chinese authorities must act to stop this kind of infringement and allow the full enforcement of copyright."
A Chinese official insisted that any resemblance between the two sculptures is coincidental.
“You can’t say we’re not allowed to build a round sculpture because there already is a round one,” the official told the Wall Street Journal. “While we use similar materials, the shapes and meanings are different. ‘Cloud Gate’ intends to reflect the sky, but ours reflects the ground; that’s why we used granite to imitate oil waves (in the area surrounding the sculpture).”
This isn't the first time China's gotten into trouble for allegedly ripping off artwork. Knockoffs of Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman's rubber duck art have popped up all over the country in recent years. And the entire city of Tianducheng was built to resemble Paris -- Eiffel Tower and all:
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