Da Nang removes Tet cat mascot following Korean artist's complaint of plagiarism

By Nguyen Dong   January 19, 2023 | 12:03 am PT
Da Nang removes Tet cat mascot following Korean artist's complaint of plagiarism
The "Cat with a ball" artwork in Da Nang. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong
The city of Da Nang removed a Tet cat mascot from a flower street display on Wednesday after a South Korean designer said the design was a plagiarization of his artwork.

The Da Nang Civil and Industrial Construction Investment Project Management Board, along with relevant units, have removed the "Cat with a ball" artwork by Lee Sangsoo from its location between the Rong Bridge and the Tinh Yeu Bridge in Son Tra District. The artwork was part of a flower street display.

The removal came after the image of the artwork circulated on social media, after which Lee confirmed that the design was made without his permission. He asked that it be removed from the flower street.

Phung Phu Phong, director of the Department of Construction, said the flower street was made based on ideas submitted to the government during a Tet decoration contest organized by the city. The "Cat with a ball" artwork was submitted by a group, complete with the original artist's name and the origin of the work, so it was chosen as part of the decorations for the flower street.

Phong said the group claimed that it had chosen a photo online as the model for its work.

"After the mascot was completed, there were people saying it was a copyright infringement," said Phong. "For an artwork to be exhibited on the street, despite having the full name of the artwork and the artist, permission is still required." Phong said that this was the reason for the city's decision to remove the artwork.

After the removal, Lee on Thursday said he was satisfied with how the situation was dealt with.

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