The Uffizi Gallery in Florence is suing designer Jean Paul Gaultier for using a Botticelli image for his latest collection without authorization.
The image in question comes from the 14th-century painting by Sandro Botticelli. Titled “Birth of Venus”, it is one of the most prominent works of Renaissance art. Earlier this year, the French fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier launched the “Le Musée” capsule collection under his label. The iconic designer’s latest series features imprints of various Renaissance works, including Birth of Venus.
Now, the Uffizi Gallery – which houses the painting in its permanent collection in Florence and also owns the copyright over it – has sued the designer over unauthorized use of the image. While the painting is in the public domain, Italian law stipulates that any use of works considered important to Italian culture should be licensed before being used for commercial purposes. The museum said that they had already sent a legal notice to the fashion designer in April this year, requesting him to either cease the sale of the item or negotiate a commercial deal. As per the museum, Gaultier ignored the notice. The designer has also not commented since the news broke out yesterday; however, the item has been removed from Gaultier’s website since then.
Also Read: 500 Years Old Moai Statues In Chile Damaged By Volcanic Eruptions
The notice by the Uffizi Gallery also opens doors for other museums to similarly sue Gaultier. His collection also uses images from The Three Graces by Peter Paul Ruben (located at Prado Museum) and The Creation of Adam by Michaelangelo (located at the Sistine Chapel).