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Court orders Danish VW importer to pay dissident artist

July 17, 2019

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A suburban Copenhagen court has ordered the importer in Denmark of Volkswagen to pay 1.5 million kroner ($226,000) to Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei for “unjustified use of artwork in an advertisement.”

The Glostrup City Court says Skandinavisk Motor Co. A/S used one of Ai’s large-scale installations on the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean Sea as backdrop in an ad featuring a Volkswagen Polo parked in front of the artwork.

The court said Wednesday using Ai’s installation composed of more than 3,500 life jackets collected from refugees arriving on the Greek Island of Lesbos “was a violation” of Danish marketing laws.

The court also granted Ai compensation for non-financial damage of 250,000 kroner ($38,000).

The artwork was installed on the exterior of a downtown Copenhagen art gallery in 2017.

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