Tokyo scraps Olympic logo
Japan dumps scandal-hit design owing to a lack of public support
Tokyo: Tokyo’s 2020 Olympics organisers on Tuesday scrapped the event’s scandal-hit logo in the latest mishap for the Games after a costs furore forced plans for a $2 billion new national stadium to be torn up.
The decision — which comes amid plagiarism claims and mounting questions about the logo designer’s credibility —caps an embarrassing month for Olympic officials as the ditching of the stadium means a new showpiece may only be ready a few months before the global event.
Japanese Olympic bosses announced their decision at a hastily arranged press conference Tuesday, in a stark reversal just days after they vowed to stand behind the logo and designer Kenjiro Sano.
Officials said their decision was not in response to a Belgian designer’s lawsuit that alleged Sano copied his work. Instead, they pointed to slumping public confidence and evidence that Sano had improperly swiped Internet images to highlight locations where his logo could be displayed. “We’re certain the two logos are different,” Toshiro Muto, director general of the Tokyo Organising Committee, said of Belgian Olivier Debie’s plagiarism claims.
“But we became aware of new things this weekend and there was a sense of crisis that we thought could not be ignored. The reason we’re withdrawing (the logo) is because it no longer has public support,” he added.
Sano himself has asked that his logo be pulled to avoid damaging the Tokyo Games, Muto added. “We want to create a new emblem that represents the Tokyo Olympics and that is loved and supported by the public,” he said.
There were no details on the timing of a new logo, but Muto said a competition to choose another design would be held at an unspecified date. While Sano has denied copying Debie’s work, he has admitted that his team copied someone else’s designs for work they did on a beer promotion campaign for Japanese drinks giant Suntory. An online petition with more than 22,000 signatures has called on officials to choose another image.
( Source : AFP )