'Devoid of any type of cultural value': Villeroy & Boch criticised for 'misuse' of Aboriginal art
Art Law

‘Devoid of any type of cultural value’: Villeroy & Boch criticised for ‘misuse’ of Aboriginal art

High-end ceramics brand Villeroy & Boch has been accused of the “misappropriation” of Aboriginal art for a range of plates and bowls made in Germany and sold in Europe and the United States. The “Manufacture Rock Desert” tableware line is described as “inspired by the traditional Aboriginal dot painting style” on the Villeroy & Boch website, with no mention of a collaboration with an Aboriginal artist or artists. The company has confirmed the range was designed in Europe. Villeroy & Boch is selling the Rock Desert line throughout Europe, including through its own website and Amazon.co.uk and major retailers such as department stores Galeria Kaufhof in Germany and Selfridges and Harrods in Britain, with prices of up to £24.90 ($44.30) for a dinner plate. It is also available at Macy’s in the US and from online retailers such as marthastewart.com. It is not sold in Australia, and The Sun-Herald understands Villeroy & Boch Australia decided not to release the range here. Villeroy & Boch tableware rom the Rock Desert range ‘inspired by Aboriginal art’. Stephanie Parkin, co-chair of the Indigenous Art Code, said Aboriginal art was an “expression of identity” for Indigenous artists and design “inspired by Aboriginal art” […]

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