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Tokyo 2020 Olympic logo scrapped after plagiarism allegations

Tokyo 2020 Olympic logo

FILE - In this Aug. 5, 2015, file photo, Japanese designer Kenjiro Sano gives a detailed explanation of how he came up with his logo, left, for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics at a press conference in Tokyo. Tokyo Olympic organizers defended Sano in a logo scandal Friday, Aug. 28, 2015, denying allegation his design for the 2020 Games was taken from a Belgian theater. The organizers disclosed Sano’s initially submitted logo, saying its emphasis on “T” shape had no resemblance to that of Theater de Liege and that a circle on the background was added later when his design was touched up. (AP Photo/Ken Aragaki, File)


Tokyo 2020 Olympic organizers announced they will seek a new logo after dropping the one unveiled July 24 following plagiarism allegations.

Shortly after the logo was made public, Belgian artist Olivier Debie claimed it resembled one of his works (see below). More plagiarism allegations against the Tokyo logo designer surfaced.
“We’re certain the two logos are different,” Tokyo Olympic organizing committee director general Toshiro Muto said Tuesday, according to Agence France-Presse. “But we became aware of new things this weekend, and there was a sense of crisis that we thought could not be ignored.

“The reason we’re withdrawing [the logo] is because it no longer has public support.”

The logo’s designer denied the Tokyo logo was taken from Debie’s work but offered to scrap the logo Monday, according to reports. A new logo will be chosen in a competition as soon as possible.

“Nobody can deny that the reputation of the logo has been tarnished,” Tokyo governor Yoichi Masuzoe said before the logo was dropped, according to Reuters. “I feel betrayed.”

Tokyo won an International Olympic Committee members vote to host the Games over Istanbul and Madrid on Sept. 7, 2013.

Tokyo previously hosted the 1964 Olympics.

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