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NRA settles dispute with artist over sculpture's use in Dana Loesch video

Liam Ford, Chicago Tribune on

Published in News & Features

CHICAGO -- Anish Kapoor, the British artist who created Cloud Gate, better known as The Bean, has declared victory over the National Rifle Association after the group agreed to remove an image of the Millennium Park sculpture from a 2017 video.

Titled "The Violence of Lies," the video, starring NRA spokeswoman and conservative commentator Dana Loesch, flashed a picture of the sculpture on the screen as Loesch spoke about former President Barack Obama.

The ad, also known online as "The Clenched Fist of Truth," stated that "the only way to save our country, the only way to fight this violence of lies is with the clenched fist of truth." The video was released in April 2017, and while Kapoor commented negatively about it a few months later, this spring he issued a more forceful statement about it and filed a lawsuit in June, claiming the ad violated copyright because the NRA didn't have permission to use the image.

Both Kapoor and the NRA said in statements the group will remove the image of The Bean from the video.

"We are pleased to declare victory over the NRA. They have now complied with our demand to remove the unauthorized image of my sculpture Cloud Gate from their abhorrent video 'The Violence of Lies,' which seeks to promote fear, hostility and division in American society," Kapoor said in a statement released by the gallery that represents him.

"This is a victory not just in defense of the copyright of my work, but it is also a declaration that we stand with those who oppose gun violence in America and elsewhere," he said.

In an emailed statement, NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said the group has "settled Anish Kapoor's baseless copyright lawsuit in exchange for removing the fleeting image of Cloud Gate (otherwise known as The Bean) from a video, The Violence of Lies, by Dec. 12 ...

"Notably, Kapoor demanded a minimum of $150,000 in damages in his complaint, as well as recovery of his attorneys' fees. The NRA paid Kapoor nothing," Arulanandam said.

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Kapoor, said he wanted to "invite the NRA to do the honorable thing and donate $1 million to the victims of gun violence in America through charities such as Every Town for Gun Safety, The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Giffords, The Brady Campaign and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America."

The groups mentioned by Kapoor traditionally have opposed the NRA's reading of the Second Amendment's right to bear arms, including some of them making themselves available to media during NRA conventions to counter the group's view.

Kapoor's lawsuit, originally filed in Chicago federal court, had been transferred to Virginia, where the NRA is based. The online docket for the case did not yet show Thursday that it had been settled.

(c)2018 Chicago Tribune

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