Tokyo Retracts Its 2020 Olympics Logo

Design Scrapped After a Plagiarism Debacle

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Do these logos look too much alike?

Le nouveau logo des jeux Olympiques de Tokyo 2020 face au logo du Théâtre de Liège dont le projet initial date de 2011…...

Posted by Studio Debie on Monday, July 27, 2015

The organizers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics scrapped its logo design (on the left) after allegations that Kenjiro Sano, a Tokyo-based designer, plagiarized the emblem of a Belgian playhouse (on the right.)

Olivier Debie, the designer behind the logo for the Théâtre de Liège, first accused Mr. Sano of stealing the design in July and has sought legal action. (The photo above is a shot from the Facebook page of Mr. Debie's studio.) Mr. Sano says his work is original.

The Tokyo 2020 committee will seek new design ideas and provide information on the selection process soon, Toshiro Muto, the chief executive of the city's Olympic organizing committee, said at a news conference in Tokyo.

The Games now not only lack a logo, but also a stadium. The original futuristic design for the centerpiece venue by British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, was also ditched after public criticism over soaring costs.

Mr. Sano has become a target of criticism on social media over the Olympic logo and other works. He recently removed tote bag designs from a promotional campaign for Suntory after members of his staff copied third-party designs without his knowledge. He also admitted to using images found online when he created portfolio materials to show his Olympic design during the logo contest, NHK reported.

-- Bloomberg News with Ad Age staff

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