- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -
Olivier Ciappa Uses the Image of The Marianne for his Own Political Agenda and Public Recognition
Olivier Ciappa has been sued for infringing rights of worldwide known visual artist David Kawena for attributing the design of the Marianne to himself and attaching FEMEN leader Inna Shevchenco as his inspiration source. Additionally, Ciappa has used the signature of French celebrities Carla Bruni, Gérard Depardieu, and Anouk Aimée, as well as none other than former French President, Mr. Nicolas Sarkozy (!) in order to support his own political agenda without their consent! (‘Le Figrao’)
Mr. Ciappa has knowingly infringed Mr. Kawena’s copyrighted works and his moral right (Droit Moral), by identifying himself as the “Artist, creator of the new Marianne stamp” (Artiste, créateur du nouveau timbre Marianne) in an article published in the LeMonde web site on 19.7.2013 as well as in many other instances and media outlets.
In that specific infringing publication, Mr. Ciappa used Mr. Kawena’s works of art without his authorization and deliberately signed his own name as the author of Mr. Kawena’s works of art (circled in red):
As if that was not enough Mr. Ciappa wrote a fictionalised article describing how he drew the Marianne himself. In the article published on ‘The Huffington Post’ on 15/07/2013 Ciappa describes his working process: “Initially, I wanted to draw a face with mixing traits (of) Roselyne Bachelot and Christiane Taubira. But my sketches did not work. I then noticed that they both had a very gracious gesture of the hand, when spoke at length monologue. I kept that in my Marianne gesture. Then I wanted to give her (Marianne) the characteristics of a person who is both a native of North Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia, to offer Marianne a dimension beyond this border. But as you can imagine, the result on my drawing board was ridiculous.”
“Au départ, je voulais dessiner un visage mélangeant les traits de Roselyne Bachelot et de Christiane Taubira. Mais mes croquis n’ont pas fonctionné. J’ai alors remarqué qu’elles faisaient toutes deux un geste très gracieux de la main, lorsqu’elles s’exprimaient longuement, en monologue. J’ai gardé ce geste dans ma Marianne. Ensuite, j’ai voulu lui donner les traits d’une personne qui soit à la fois originaire d’Afrique du Nord, d’Europe de l’Est et d’Asie, afin d’offrir à cette Marianne une dimension hors frontière. Mais, comme on peut l’imaginer, le résultat sur ma planche à dessin était ridicule.”
For these and other egregious infringements of his rights, Mr. Kawena has sued Mr. Ciappa for numerous counts of copyright infringement, as well as willful defamation of character, slander and claiming Mr. Kawena was his “Imaginary Double” - ‘double imaginaire’ (As published in 2 articles articles on ‘l’adresse - musee de laposte’). Since then Mr. Ciappa has done everything in his power to delete Mr. Kawena’s name from the public eye in regards of the Marianne. The lawsuit is ongoing (for more information regarding this lawsuit please contact our offices below).
However, Mr. Ciappa seems not to have heeded to Mr. Kawena’s warnings which were sent to him as early as 25/07/2013. Mr. Ciappa has used the widespread acclaim that the stamp has accrued in order to forward his own agenda and political activism to gain publicity. The following are depictions of athletes posing with a sign featuring the drawing of the Marianne, seemingly oblivious that the rights over the drawing belong not to Mr. Ciappa but rather to Mr. Kawena and ‘La Poste’, which commissioned the design of the stamp.
As these lines are being written, a notice letter has been sent to ‘La Poste’ in order to receive their comments on Mr. Ciappa’s actions.
Yet, even this wasn’t enough for Mr. Ciappa, and he took his self-promoting campaign one step further. Without ANYONE’S consent, he took the design of the Marianne, deliberately removing Mr. Kawena’s name from it once again and attached the signatures of French celebrities Carla Bruni, Gérard Depardieu, and Anouk Aimée, as well as none other than former French President, Mr. Nicolas Sarkozy (!), as if they support his campaign:
This came as a surprise to many, including Mr. Kawena, and, as articles in lefigaro.fr and yagg.com show, to former President Sarkozy himself:
Le Figaro -
It seems from these articles that Mr. Ciappa contorted the reason and the context in which these signatures were to be used and added the aforementioned parties as unwilling supporters of his cause. Furthermore, the articles state that former President Sarkozy is considering taking legal action against Mr. Ciappa for the unauthorized use of his signature and defamatory actions.
As a direct result of Mr. Ciappa’s false association of the Marianne with Inna Shevchenko there has been a call to boycott the stamp which is wrongfully being addressed as “Timbre Femen” (Femen Stamp) by all media outlets worldwide.
Due to these actions Mr. Kawena had to witness his own work being mucked, ridiculed, associated with political activism and even burned in the streets of Paris. The last incident was reported by no other then Mr. Ciappa himself on his Facebook page, claiming he “woke up at night to the see the protesters burning his Marianne below his window”. Confirmed by YAGG.COM the event did not take place below Mr. Ciappa’s home, not even in his street and was not directed at him. Once again Mr. Ciappa has been playing with the truth, manipulating the events and his online followers for self-publicity and support. As soon as it was revealed, Mr. Ciappa deleted the post from his facebook page.
Deleting and editing posts that can be used as evidence against him is a common act for Mr. Ciappa and he has done that with every post in which he ‘forgot’ to mention Mr. Kawena’s name as the creator of the Marianne, and credited the Marianne as ‘HIS’ as can be seen in the pictures below:
Mr. Kawena wishes to clarify and illuminate a number of events which has come to light regarding the Marianne:
1). Mr. Kawena and he alone created the Marianne.
2). Despite claims of Mr. Ciappa to be an ‘Artist’ or a “dessinateur”, in his own words – he does not possess drawing skills of any kind.
3). Consequentially, Mr. Kawena, and he alone, can speak to the nature of his influences and inspirations in creating the character of Marianne.
4). Mr. Kawena vehemently denies any connection between image depicted on The ‘Marianne’ Stamp and the Ukrainian FEMEN activist, Inna Shevchenko, and any other personalities, dead or alive, whose names were linked to the Marianne by Mr. Ciappa.
For further info, please contact:
Yotam Werzansky-Orland, Attorney at Law: +972-52-2438776, email@example.com
Drori – Werzansky – Orland & Co. Law Office | 23 Begin St. (Levinstein Tower), Tel Aviv 66183 T: 03-6005572 | F: 03-6005531 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org | WEB: www.dwo.co.il
Please read the full press release on the following link:
Comment, Like, Share - do whatever you can to help me re-claim the rights for my work which has been stolen and abused by one guy for over a year now.
I thank you all for your support,