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Artemy Lebedev accuses Penza advertising service head of demagoguery

14:47 | 16.10.2015 | Society

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Penza, 16 October 2015. PenzaNews. The renowned Russian designer Artemy Lebedev, who had accused the Penza authorities of plagiarizing parts of the design brand for the New Year festival developed by his studio, said he was bewildered by the contents of yet another letter he received from the city, this time addressed from the acting director of “Penza city advertising service” Alexei Nikulin, and by the latter’s musings in Facebook.

The acting director of “Penza city advertising service” Alexei Nikulin

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In the quoted letter dated Wednesday, October 14, Alexei Nikulin writes he understand Artemy Lebedev’s outrage, and sincerely regrets that a single incident has unjustly tarnished the image of Penza and its people.

Further on, the author of the letter places emphasis on the rich cultural traditions of the region, and once again invites the famous designer to the June 12, 2016 graffiti contest to commemorate Russia Day and City Day.

In his comment to the letter, published on Friday, October 16, Artemy Lebedev expressed his bewilderment in unquotable expressions over the fact that the Penza officials steal what is not theirs and then spend so much time writing nonsense.

“Really, how many more paper sheets like that they’re going to spend?” he asked.

The designer also made it sure to clarify him not going to visit Penza, and pointed out that “comrade Nikulin is just relentless” and continues to develop the topic on his Facebook page, strengthening his argument with a screenshot of the message from the aforementioned person’s social network account.

“Moreover, Lebedev said nothing to prove his rights. It seems the copyright is held by the Moscow authorities. The Moscow authorities send us no complains. So it seems Artemy just wants to earn a buck. Why, does it seem that the municipality is going to just up and give him a million on demand by pulling it out of transportation money or school children’s meal fund?” Alexei Nikulin wrote in the screenshotted message.

In a reply to that, Artemy Lebedev pointed out that “we’ve got an old salt here with a chat.”

“Anything’s up, and there he goes hiding behind transportation and children’s meals. And there goes the demagoguery on how good Penza people are. I know that already,” the designer stressed.

He added that those who “sit with a salary from the state” should refrain from plagiarizing others’ designs, “and then the transportation will be good, and children will be eating better.”

Alexei Nikulin has already posted a retort on his Facebook page.

“What should I say… Artemy went down on obscenities in his blog, which is pleasant for us. Still, I think he’s not a bad man and his image is just a public protective shell. As Voland said in the immortal the Master and Margarita, ‘And forgiveness sometimes knocks to their hearts.’ I hope!” he wrote.

In the comments to the message, Alexei Nikulin stressed he personally “reviewed the issue bit by bit” trying to figure out “what, why and how did it happen.”

He also added that the lay off of the former director of “Penza city advertising service” Inna Revina is not related to the incident.

“I will not be firing other employees because of Artemy,” the acting director emphasized.

As PenzaNews agency reported earlier, on December 27, 2014, Artemy Lebedev rudely accused the Penza authorities of stealing a part of the brand design for a New year festival “The Best Winter City” developed by his studio for the Moscow Mass Event Directorate. The outburst of critique was caused by a photo depicting a billboard installed in Penza on the crossroads of Pushkina and Stavskovo streets, featuring a photo of a child, the words “Dreams come true!” the logo of “The Best Winter City”, as well as the number of the oncoming year (2015) and a signature: “Penza city administration.”

On December 29, the press service of the Penza city administration has publicly released a report from the director of “Penza city advertising service” Inna Revina. According to it, “the institution had no aim to copy someone else’s brand.” It also says the template has been developed to promote socially oriented content and was not used for profit.

Afterwards, the billboard that caused public outcry and the debate in the blogosphere was removed. However, another billboard on Lunacharskovo street with the same logo in question was left intact.

Shortly after, however, Artemy Lebedev pointed out that the Penza authorities had broken the copyright law twice in the New Year billboard, as, according to him, they illegally used a photo by Tatyana Cherkashina from Irkutsk. Because of that, the designer came to a conclusion that “the New Year billboard signed by ‘the Penza city administration’ is a theft of two art projects, and neither of them is related to Penza in any way.”

In late September, Artemy Lebedev announced his decision to prove the case of plagiarism of his studio’s work in the Penza city New Year decoration design layout in court, after an official reply to his complaint, that was signed by the city’s first vice-mayor Victor Gvozdev.

On October 7, Artemy Lebedev published a letter from the acting director of “Penza city advertising service” Alexei Nikulin, where the authorities admitted the plagiarism and asked forgiveness.

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