UK light artist sues Miami botanical garden over ‘unauthorised replicas’ of his work

Bruce Munro's Forest of Light at Longwood Gardens, UK, in 2012. The British artist says The NightGarden in Miami copies his work © Bruce Munro

The UK artist Bruce Munro, best known for his immersive, light-based installations, is suing the Florida-based Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens for copyright infringement. Munro claims that the Miami botanical gardens intentionally imitated his works for The NightGarden, a holiday illuminations event which ran from 15 November to 11 January.

In a complaint filed in the Southern District of Florida, Miami division courts on 8 January, Munros legal team accused Fairchild of importing and publicly displaying lights purchased from the Chinese company G-Light, which is also named as a defendant in the case. The complaint accuses G-Light of “blatant and intentional copying, exploitation, and infringement” of multiple works by Munro. The complaint also says that G-Light boasted “prominent text on the site describing its offering as Bruce Munro style…” before asserting that the Chinese company specifically offered “unauthorised replicas” of Munros works Forest of Light, River of Light, and Field of Light.

The complaint states that “Fairchilds COO, [Nanette] Zapata participated in, directed, and approved the public display of these replicas at Fairchilds facilities in Coral Gables, Florida.”

Magic Mushrooms, part of The NightGarden event at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Florida, which Munro claims copies his work Photo: Laura Cruz via Trover

"Like so many artists, my heart and soul goes into each piece I create, so it deeply troubles me that others would duplicate and diminish my work in this way," Munro tells The Art Newspaper. " I hope that by standing up against this sort of rampant exploitation, it will dissuade unsavoury business people from continuing to very blatantly copy an artists work and also help protect those artists who may be unable to readily protect themselves," he adds.

“As evident from the lawsuit, we are intent on protecting Mr. Munros artistic legacy and guarding against unauthorised commercial appropriation of his works as is exemplRead More – Source