Underwater Artist Claims Hirst Has Stolen His Ideas

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A deCaires Taylor work on the theme of migration

Sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor, famous for his underwater installations, is considering suing Damien Hirst for breach of copyright following the controversial artist's new exhibition which has opened at the Venice Biennale.

Hirst's show entitled Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable is a £50m extravaganza which purports to be artefacts salvaged from a wreck in the Indian Ocean which contained the long-lost collection a mysterious art dealer from the ancient world.

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The Diver, a bronze sculpture is among works in Damien Hirst’s new show in Venice.

DeCaires Taylor, who is also exhibiting at the Biennale, said that there were 'striking similarities' between some of Hirst's sculptures and his own work. He is reported in The Times as saying he is considering taking Hirst to court.

'The main thing is if I start court proceedings over copyright is to enforce my own copyright position,' he told the newspaper. 'His work is very different in context although there are things which are stylistically the same.'

DeCaires Taylor, 42,  created the world’s first underwater sculpture park in 2006. Situated off the west coast of Grenada in the West Indies it is now listed as one of the Top 25 Wonders of the World by National Geographic and was instrumental in the creation of a National Marine Protected Area by the local government.

In 2009 he co-founded MUSA (Museo Subacuático de Arte), a museum with a collection of more than 500 of his sculptural works, submerged off the coast of Cancun, Mexico. Last year he opened a work on the theme of migration in the Canary Islands.

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Part of deCaires Taylor's installation in  Lanzarote

Hirst, 51, denied any suggestion that he had breached copyright. A spokeswoman said: 'Damian has always been fascinated by what he describes as 'the action of the world on things' and he became interested in coralised works in the late 90s when he sank some works off the coast of Mexico.'




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