Giant Rubber Duck Artist Accuses Brazilian Protesters of Plagiarism
Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman – famous for a giant rubber duck that pops up around the world – says a version of his work used by Brazilian protesters amounts to plagiarism.
Groups pushing for the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff are using a large rubber duck as a mascot.
The duck’s design is similar to one by Florentijn Hofman.
The owner of the factory that produced both ducks denied any wrongdoing.
Versions of the same giant inflatable rubber duck designed by Florentijn Hofman have traveled the world since 2007, calling in Japan, New Zealand and Brazil, among many other countries.
The version that has appeared in protests in Brazil closely resembles Florentijn Hofman’s, although it has crosses for eyes.
It also has the slogan “Chega de pagar o pato” across its chest, a Portuguese expression meaning “We won’t pay for the duck any more” or “We won’t pay for what is not our fault any more”.
The giant duck was commissioned by a powerful Brazilian industrial group, FIESP, to use in protests against corruption and high taxes from September 2015.
It has made a number of appearances in demonstrations against the president in recent months.
Before it appeared as part of an exhibition in Brazil, a version of Florentijn Hofman’s duck was produced in a Sao Paulo factory.
However, the owner of the factory, Denilson Sousa, who also produced the new duck, denies the design was copied.
A FIESP spokesman said they had been reassured the design was original.
On March 29, the group released 5,000 rubber ducks near the main national congress building in the capital, Brasilia, and took out full-page adverts in national newspapers using an image of a duck.
Opposition lawmakers want to remove Dilma Rousseff over claims she manipulated government accounts to hide a growing deficit.