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Agency: Belgian designer accuses Japan of stealing his logo for 2020 Olympics emblem

July 31, 2015, 7:24 UTC+3 TOKYO
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TOKYO, July 31. /TASS/. A Belgian designer accused Japanese organizers of the 2020 Summer Olympics of attempted plagiarism saying they allegedly stole the emblem of the upcoming Games in Tokyo from the one he designed for a theater in the east of Belgium, Kyodo news agency reported.

According to the agency, Olivier Debie, a Belgium-based designer, expressed "surprise on social media that the emblem for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games unveiled last week, closely resembles the logo for a theater in Liege, eastern Belgium, that his studio crafted."

The official emblem for the 2020 Olympics was unveiled in Tokyo on July 24 and resembles a simple letter "T" made in colors of gold, red, black and silver against the white background.

Debie, 52, said it could be "inspired by his work," which looks like intermixed letters "T" and "L" in white color against the black backdrop and posted pictures of the Tokyo and his logos side-by-side on his Facebook account.

"I cannot judge whether it was stolen or inspired by my work. I’m consulting with my lawyer," Kyodo quoted him as saying. "There is a striking resemblance between the two logos."

Japan won the bid to host the Games at the 125th Session of the International Olympic Committee in Buenos Aires on September 7, 2013 and the official Olympics emblem produced by Kenjiro Sano, a 43-year-old Japanese art director, was unveiled a week ago.

"We announced the emblem after going through the international trademark registration process," Masanori Takaya, publicity chief of the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, was quoted by Kyodo as saying. "We are not particularly worried about this.".

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