Egypt, RATP consider suing Wali Studio for plagiarising design; apologise to Russian artist

Jehad El-Sayed, Wednesday 6 Jul 2022

The National Tunnels Authority and RATP Dev Mobility Cairo, which is responsible for operating Cairo metro Line 3, announced on Tuesday they are considering appropriate legal procedures to take against the advertising company Wali's Studio for plagiarising a design of Russian plastic artist Georgy Korasov on the walls of one of metro stations.

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A combined photo showing a design placed on a wall of Girls' College Station of Cairo's third metro line (left) that has been recently circulated on social media platforms, and a design of Russian plastic artist Georgy Korasov (right) from his official website.

 

“We apologise to the Russian plastic artist Georgy Korasov and to the public for this incident,” the two companies said in a statement, stressing their full respect for the intellectual property rights of everyone in Egypt and abroad. 

They announced that they “are closely following” the news recently circulated on social media and media platforms regarding the use of artworks by the Russian artist in the cultural project at the Girls' College Station.

On 2 July Korasov wrote on Facebook: “My paintings were used in Cairo subway without my permission and even mentioning my name!

“I am waiting for an official response about the theft of my paintings in a metro station,” Korasov added.

In Tuesday’s statement the two companies confirmed they had contracted the advertising agency to create artistic designs for this cultural project, noting that a legally binding clause was included stating that the advertising company is solely responsible for providing original artistic designs. 

The clause stated that in the case of quoting or copying, it must obtain official legal approval from the original artists of these works authorising their use, the statement read.

In March, the two companies added, the contract with the advertising company was terminated due to other reasons related to a breach of some terms of the contract and implementation.

The two companies asserted not being aware that these designs were illegally inspired by the paintings of the Russian artist, emphasising that they are against any infringement on intellectual property rights in any way.

In June 2021, Egypt handed over the management, operation and maintenance of its Cairo Metro’s third line to French transport firm RTP Dev, after signing in September 2020 a 15-year, billion-euro contract with French transport operator RATP Dev to manage the line.

The new 1.1 billion euro ($1.4 billion) contract between RATP Dev and the National Tunnels Authority aims "to alleviate the pressure on the Egyptian Company for the Management and Operation of the metro, which is in charge of the first and second lines," according to a previous statement by Egyptian Ministry of Transport.

The third metro line links eastern and western Cairo and running from Cairo University passing through Imbaba, Abbasiya and Adly Mansour metro stations.

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