Florence-based Uffizi Gallery has filed a suit against Puig-owned Jean Paul-Gaultier for its use of imagery taken from Sandro Botticelli’s 1480 painting Birth Of Venus in his “Le Musée” collection, released earlier this year.
Part of Uffizi Gallery’s permanent collection, the museum also manages its copyright. The painting is part of the public domain, however, under Italian law the use of art related to the country’s cultural property requires approval for merchandising use and a legal fee.
In an interview with the Guardian, Uffizi Gallery director Eike Schmidt says, “Fashion designers regularly use our images and most are familiar with Italian law, which says that any use of publicly owned art needs to be authorized and paid for. How much depends on the volume of sales, price the items are sold for etc.”
According to Uffizi Gallery, Gaultier simply removed the pieces from its website, while the collection is still available with its stockists including Ssense.