Olympic cauldron plagiarism row

Last updated 11:38 20/06/2013
Cauldron
Getty Images
Thomas Heatherwick's London Olympics cauldron, which saw 204 copper "petals" rise to create one huge flame.
Atopia
Atopia
A petal design sketch from Atopia's London Olympics submission.

Relevant offers

Europe

French President Macron to meet Russia's Putin in France on May 29 Ring bought for $18 at car boot sale expected to fetch $656,000 at auction Rubber duckies floated in pothole as part of British village protest Britain's threat to walk away from the EU with no deal is genuine, says Brexit minister Woman throws hot chocolate in burglar's face as he climbs through bedroom window Steven Adams' team-mate Enes Kanter 'detained at airport for political reasons' Young royals attend Pippa Middleton's wedding, a beautiful 'gun show' Arctic doomsday vault - stronghold of the world's seed supply - floods after permafrost melts German woman killed her boyfriend with a saw, then severed his head Julian Assange all smiles after seven-year rape investigation is dropped

Almost a year after it ended, the London Olympics has become mired in a cheating controversy.

Except this time the accusations don't involve the athletes who took part, but the Games' highly praised Opening Ceremony. 

A New York design studio claims artist Thomas Heatherwick stole their idea for the Olympic cauldron, the Guardian newspaper reports.

Heatherwick's design for the cauldron, which saw 204 copper "petals" rise to create one huge flame, was the "wow" moment of the ceremony.

Heatherwick, described by his peers as "the Leonardo da Vinci of our times", said at the time he had worked in secret on the cauldron, piecing it together in "the most sophisticated shed in Harrogate (Yorkshire) ... like the Bond gadget workshop".

However, designers working for Atopia claim they submitted a similar design to the Games' organising committee in 2007.

Jane Harrison, Atopia's co-director, told the Guardian newspaper: "We devised a structure of petals on tall stems, which would travel from all of the participating countries, then be brought into the stadium by children. The petals would be assembled during the opening ceremony to form a flower-like canopy, and distributed back to the different nations after the Games."

Harrison said that after submitting the design, Atopia didn't hear back from the organising committee. The studio has not been able to go public with its allegations until now because of a confidentiality agreement it signed when submitting its work to the Games.

Heatherwick's studio has denied plagiarising Atopia's idea. "We have never seen this project before, nor were we made aware of it," it said in a statement.

Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content