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Wal-Mart Sues Icelandic Artist

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Wal-Mart Sues Icelandic Artist

American department store chain Wal-Mart is taking artist Lárus H. List from Akureyri, northeast Iceland, to arbitration court in Geneva, Switzerland, where its case will be heard by mid-March.

According to Fréttabladid, the lawsuit is in relation to a painting List made two years ago, which was displayed in Kling og Bang Gallery in Reykjavík. The painting is based on Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and is entitled “Wa1m-ART.”

Following his exhibition, List bought the domain wa1mart.com. Wal-Mart finds the domain too similar to walmart.com and believes List is thus causing damage to the chain store’s operations. In Geneva, Wal-Mart hopes to be given the legal rights to List’s domain.

British lawyer Graham Ross has offered List to represent his case. List said the idea behind his Mona Lisa-based artwork was to criticize American greed and cultural hegemony and that Wal-Mart’s lawsuit has proven his point.

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