This is awkward: An exact replica of Wendy Taylor’s famous London landmark, the 1973 sculpture Timepiece, has suddenly appeared in a Shanghai residential neighborhood.
According to The Independent, a tourist on vacation in Shanghai noticed the resemblance, and notified Taylor who was furious her work had been so blatantly copied.
“I know it happens and I have had works copied before – they always say it’s a coincidence but in this case it’s absolutely blatant,” said Taylor.
Taylor said her original work (shown below) was specifically created for London with elements evoking the docks, such as its cobblestones and highly-stylized dockyard nail.
Taylor attempted to contact the “artist” who created the Chinese copy, but was unsuccessful.
Located at Dongcheng Riverside Parkland beside the Huangpu River, the replica is not attributed to anyone. According to a reporter at the China Daily, there is no explanation as to why the piece was constructed at the site.
Shanghai municipal sculpture committee member Zheng Jiashi told China Daily that Shanghai highly respects intellectual property rights. Zheng said that if it is confirmed to be a copy, then “it must be taken down”.
Fellow UK artist Anish Kapoor has complained that her 2006 Chicago-based work, Cloud Gate, was plagiarized and exhibited in the Chinese city of Karamay. In 2013, copies of Florentijn Hofman’s Yellow Duck toured Chinese cities after becoming immensely popular with the Chinese public.