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Joseph Beuys

Copyright dispute over Joseph Beuys show in Germany

The Moyland Castle Museum closed the exhibition but plans to appeal

The Moyland Castle Museum in North Rhine-Westphalia, which houses the world’s largest Joseph Beuys collection, was forced to close its exhibition “Joseph Beuys: Unpublished Photos by Manfred Tischer” on 29 May, less than three weeks after it opened, because of copyright issues.

The show was originally due to close on 13 September. On 12 June, the museum’s lawyer announced plans to appeal against the decision of the Düsseldorf district court, which had ordered the museum to take down seven photographs by Tischer made during a Beuys event in 1964. Anticipating objections from the Beuys estate and the copyright protection society, Bild-Kunst, the museum’s management did not gain permission to show the images. However, the judge decided that photographs of a Beuys event are part of the work itself and therefore protected by copyright law. C.H.

Appeared in The Art Newspaper Archive, 204 July 2009