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The BBC's Rosie Millard
"The illustrator of the original book isn't very impressed"
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Chair of the Turner Prize jury, Sir Nicholas Serota
"The issue is what the artist has done with the borrowed material"
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Tuesday, 28 November, 2000, 21:32 GMT
Copycat row hits Turner Prize
 Loves of Shepherds 2000
Glenn Brown's Loves of Shepherds 2000
An artist nominated for this year's Turner Prize has been accused of plagiarism.

Glenn Brown's entry, Loves of Shepherds 2000, is an almost identical copy of the cover of a 1970's science fiction book.

The huge canvas has been one of the most admired art works in the Turner exhibition at the Tate Britain in London.

The 20,000 prize is being announced at a ceremony at the museum on Tuesday night and will be broadcast live on the Arts Council of England's new website,

Sir Nicholas Serota
Sir Nicholas Serota: A rich culture in Britain
Since Mr Brown's painting has been displayed many visitors have recognised it as a copy of an Anthony Robert illustration for the cover of Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein, which was published in 1974.

The chairman of the Turner Prize jury, Sir Nicholas Serota, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that the painting was not a form of plagiarism.

Click here to see the original book illustration

He said: "Glenn Brown has frequently used the work of other artists in developing his own work, but that is true of Picasso, who borrowed from Rembrandt ... this is not new.

"He uses other artists' work, but that doesn't mean to say you could possibly mistake his work for theirs... he takes the image, he transforms it, he gives it a completely different scale."


Mr Brown's entry in the Turner Prize catalogue does not make any reference to Mr Heinlein's novel or Mr Robert's illustration.

It does, however, acknowledge the style of the British artist is inspired by reference to famous paintings or images from other artworks or films.

Also nominated is Japanese artist Tomoko Takahashi, Dutch painter Michael Raedecker and German-born Wolfgang Tillmans.

For the first time in many years the shortlist is dominated by painters, with Takahashi the only installation artist, collecting together "junk" to represent the aftermath of an earthquake.

Stuckists protest about the Turner prize
The Stuckists protest about the Turner "circus"

The former chief executive of the Design and Artists Copyright Society, Rachel Duffield, is less convinced that Glenn Brown's work is not blatant copying.

"It is OK to be inspired by someone, but not to imitate if it doesn't move the art forward at all," she is quoted as saying in The Times newspaper

Mr Brown is the only UK born artist to make this year's shortlist for the prize.

Severed cow

Previous winners include Damien Hirst, for his work Mother and Child Divided, which consisted of four tanks containing parts of a severed cow and calf preserved in formaldehyde.

The Turner Prize was established in 1984 and is intended to promote public discussion of new developments in contemporary British art.

It is open all artists working in the UK or to British artists working abroad. This year's shortlist has an unprecedented number of overseas entrants.

Sir Nicholas Serota said it was not a question of British artists "not being up to scratch".

"I think it is a question of recognising that the culture here is much richer than we could define by those who have simply been born in this country."

The Turner Prize also attracts its fair share of detractors.

A group calling themselves the Stuckists protested outside Tate Britain on Tuesday, complaining the prize and the gallery had become a circus.

The group takes its name from an outburst by British artist Tracey Emin, a Turner Prize nominee last year.

In an insult hurled at her ex-boyfriend and fellow artist Billy Childish, she said: "Your art is stuck, stuck, stuck."

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Anthony Robert's illustration for the novel Double Star
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See also:

28 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Turner Prize 2000: The shock of the old
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