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I hope this will become a valued and rich source of inspiration and knowledge. Please Leave comments and enjoy your visit.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

The City of GHENT | Architectural detail in WOOD and STONE | Ornamental Detail in the streets of Ghent (Belgium)

Ghent, Europe’s Best Kept Secret

The undiscovered Flemish jewel of a city boasts an opera house, a handful of museums, even more ancient churches, and countless bridges spanning the two rivers that wind themselves through the city. The true joy of the town is to be found whiling away an afternoon in an outdoor café. Whether your wrapped under blankets sipping a coffee in the winter or sunning yourself in the springtime with a cold Belgium brew, you will fit in with the locals if you simply enjoy the great atmosphere this town offers. If possible, find a seat on the Graslei, a scenic canal spot in the centre of town, with a great view on the many bridges, grand houses and medieval buildings.

Alternatively, hop on a bike and explore the nearby Patershol district with a small labyrinth of charming cobblestone streets, the towering Gravensteen Castle and Unesco recognised bell tower. The laid back atmosphere of this liveable, lovable city means enjoying the vibrant nightlight of a university town then quaffing cava at the flower market the following Sunday morning.

Carved Family Crest | Carved family coat of arms | van Pallandt coat of arms

Coat of arms, van Pallandt family (CA, USA)

Custom-made  Family Coat of arms, Heraldry and Crests .   

Coat of Arms carved in wood for Royalty and Nobility , particular family  , emblems for clubs, city ,company or organisations..



Saturday, 15 July 2017

Belgian woodcarver gets Zara to the knees | Zara Home Inditex Brussels | Belgian (Limburger) beats ZARA in plagiarism case

Left the work of Patrick Damiaens - Right the candle of Zara home

Belgian woodcarver gets Zara to the knees.

Newspaper article published on July 5, 2017
With permission from DE TIJD, Belgian business and financial newspaper

Translation Lis Alvar R,
In the original article, the author Ben Serrure speaks about the Limburger (as a person), this has changed to Belgian. Explication: Limburg is a province of Belgium.

According to the Brussels Courts of Commerce, the chain of stores Zara Home has copied a design of the ornamental woodcarver Patrick Damiaens without any hesitation.
Patrick Damiaens fell of the chair when he received a call from Paris in 2014. A friend of the Belgian (Limburg) woodcarver was surprised with a decorated candle while shopping in the furniture chain Zara Home. Nothing special itself. The design of the candle was like “two drops” to the design that Damiaens had made two years earlier.

Specifically, it was a family shield that Damiaens had carved on behalf of the Dutch family Odink. The family wanted a 3D version of the recently updated coat of arms, and knocked to the door of the Belgian (Limburg), a famous name in the world of heraldic art. After the assignment was completed, Damiaens placed a picture of the result on his website and began working on other work.
Great was his surprise when, after the call, his job was found in the Antwerp branch of Zara Home, daughter of Inditex, one of the world's most valuable companies. Damiaens did not agree with it, and, along with client Odink, hired a lawyer.

On the cover of De Tijd
Belgian (Limburger) beats ZARA in plagiarism case

Belgian woodcarver forces billion company ZARA on the knees

Sales ban
With result. The Brussels court of commerce ruled that Odink did not, but Damiaens could have copyrighted the design, and that Zara Home had committed infringements by placing the candles on the market. The court therefore condemns Zara Home to pay a compensation and a ban on the future sales of the decorative candles, which had already been taken out of business.
The verdict and, consequently, the compensation payable, by the territorial jurisdiction of the court, relate only to the candles sold in Belgium, attorney Dieter Delarue, who acted for Damiaens in the case, explained. But the verdict is a good starting point for further actions. For example, the Limburger now has a starting point to proceed against Zara in Spain, where the ban and the compensation could then be extended to all of Europe.
Zara can still appeal. The company is currently considering any further steps, let attorney Jef Keustermans know.

David vs Goliath

It's by no means the first time that small designers or artists are being copied by fast retailers like Zara. Zara was already under fire for copying small designers, while a company like H & M is regularly accused of plagiarism.
Recently, Belgian lingerie designer Muriel Scherre of La Fille d'O sounded the bell after H & M put a bra in the shelf that looked like a design of her. Scherre said that she did not wanted to proceed, because she thought she had little chances to win against "Goliath" as H & M.
That is why this sentence is so important, Delarue believes. "It is a unique precedent in the sense that it may be the first time that a fast retailer is convicted by a court for something like this, far beyond Belgium.

Elsewhere and earlier, often with symbolic outrage actions via social or regular media. They are of course useful, but they will also be over by time. The Zara's of this world also know that, which makes them seldom impressed and therefore does not give a proper result. Now, of course, they cannot do anything else. "

It is apparent that the court in the sentence expresses Zara's conduct explicitly and in strict terms. Answers to the argument of Zara Home's that a friend of Damiaens was required to recognize the design, the court writes the following:
'This reflects Zara Home's approach and attitude in the design and production of the concerned candle: an interesting and existing design that does not have a prominent general reputation may be applied to the goods in question with a view to the optimization/increase of sales and without any acknowledgment of the person who created that work through his own intellectual input. '

"It is precisely the attractiveness to the consumer that Zara Home has put in place to reproduce exactly the work of Mr. Damiaens and not to choose another design," the court continues. 'A clearer proof of the banalization of the sculpture of Mr. Damiaens cannot be offer.'


Tallador de madera de Limburgo pone a Zara de rodillas | Zara Home Inditex Bruselas | Plagio Zara Home

Tallador de madera de Limburgo pone a Zara de rodillas.

Tallador de madera de Limburgo pone a Zara de rodillas.

Artículo del "De Tijd" 5 de Julio 2017.
Publicado en este blog con la aprobación del periódico "De Tijd"/Ben Serrure

El periódico "De Tijd" es el diario financiero y de negocios de Bélgica.

Traducción: Lis Alvar R

Según el Tribunal de Comercio de Bruselas, la cadena de tiendas Zara Home ha copiado -sin ninguna duda- el diseño del escultor ornamental Patrick Damiaens.

Patrick Damiaens se fue de espaldas cuando recibió una llamada de París en 2014. Un amigo del escultor de Limburgo se sorprendió al ver una vela decorada mientras compraba en la cadena de muebles Zara Home. Una vela nada especial en sí. Pero el diseño de la vela era como "dos gotas de agua" al diseño que Damiaens había hecho dos años antes.

Específicamente, era un escudo de familia que Damiaens había tallado a nombre de la familia holandesa Odink. La familia quería una versión 3D de su escudo de armas que recientemente había sido actualizado, y llamó a la puerta del escultor, un nombre famoso en el mundo del arte heráldico. Después de que la asignación fue terminada, Damiaens colocó una imagen del resultado en su Web-site y comenzó a trabajar en otro trabajo.

Grande fue su sorpresa cuando, después de la llamada, su trabajo fue encontrado en la sucursal de Amberes de Zara Home (hija de Inditex), una de las compañías más valiosas del mundo. Damiaens no estaba de acuerdo con el uso de su diseño, y, junto con su cliente Odink, contrató a un abogado.

En la portada del "De Tijd"
Artista de Limburgo noquea a Zara en caso de plagio.

Artista de la talla de madera de Limburgo 
fuerza a ponerse de rodillas al negocio multimillonario Zara.

Prohibición de ventas

Con resultado. El Tribunal de Comercio de Bruselas decidió que Odink no, pero Damiaens si podría haber registrado el diseño, y que Zara Home había cometido infracciones colocando las velas en el mercado. Por lo tanto, el tribunal condeno a Zara Home a pagar una indemnización y una prohibición de las ventas futuras de las velas decorativas, la cual ya había sida retirada del mercado.

El veredicto y, en consecuencia, la indemnización por la jurisdicción territorial del tribunal, se refieren únicamente a las velas vendidas en Bélgica, explicó el abogado Dieter Delarue, que actuó en nombre de Damiaens en el caso. Pero el veredicto es un buen punto de partida para nuevas acciones. Por ejemplo, el escultor de Limburgo tiene ahora un punto de partida para proceder en contra Zara en España, donde la prohibición y la compensación podrían extenderse a toda Europa.

Zara todavía puede apelar. Por el momento la compañía está considerando cualquier otro paso a seguir, informo el abogado Jef Keustermans.

David vs Goliath

No es de ninguna manera la primera vez que pequeños diseñadores o artistas están siendo copiados por los minoristas rápidos como Zara. Zara ya estaba bajo el fuego por copiar pequeños diseñadores, mientras que una compañía como H & M es acusada regularmente de plagio

Recientemente, la diseñadora de lencería belga Muriel Scherre de La Fille d'O sonó la campana después de que H & M puso un sujetador en el estante que parecía un diseño de ella. Scherre dijo que no quería continuar, porque creía que tenía pocas posibilidades de ganar contra un "Goliath" como H & M.

Es por eso por lo que esta sentencia es tan importante, considera Delarue. "Es un precedente único en el sentido de que puede ser la primera vez que un minorista rápido es condenado por un tribunal por algo como esto, mucho más allá de Bélgica”.

En otras partes y antes, a menudo con acciones de indignación simbólica a través de medios sociales o regulares. Por supuesto, son útiles, pero también se acabarán con el tiempo. Los Zara de este mundo también saben eso, lo que los hace raramente impresionados y por lo tanto no dan un resultado apropiado. Ahora, por supuesto, no pueden hacer nada más".

Una Infracción de Derecho de Autor |  Zara Home Inditex


Es evidente que el tribunal en la sentencia expresa el comportamiento de Zara explícitamente y en términos estrictos. Respuestas al argumento de Zara Home es que un amigo de Damiaens estaba obligado a reconocer el diseño, el tribunal escribe lo siguiente:

"Esto refleja el enfoque y la actitud de Zara Home en el diseño y la producción de la vela en cuestión: un diseño interesante y existente que no tiene una reputación general prominente puede aplicarse a los productos en cuestión con vistas a la optimización / aumento de ventas y sin ningún reconocimiento de la persona que creó esa obra a través de su propio aporte intelectual’.

"Es precisamente el atractivo para el consumidor que Zara Home ha puesto en marcha para reproducir exactamente el trabajo del Sr. Damiaens y no elegir otro diseño", continúa la corte. "No se puede ofrecer una prueba más clara de la banalización de la escultura del señor Damiaens".


Thursday, 6 July 2017

Zara Home Convicted for Plagiarism – Decision of Brussels Court in case Damiaens - Odink vs. Zara Home

Zara Home Candle |  Damiaens - Odink vs. Zara Home 
To Whom it May Concern: 
Zara Home Convicted for Plagiarism – Decision of Brussels Court in case Damiaens - Odink vs. Zara Home 
The purpose of this press release/statement is to allow my clients to manage, streamline and react to the numerous requests for interviews that have come their way following the decision of the Brussels Court in the matter of Damiaens - Odink vs. Zara Home.
 The decision is attached to this e-mail, and summarized below. This statement also includes a couple of quotes from the decision, and subsequent remarks from the claimants and their lawyer. We politely ask you to direct any further questions you may have to Dieter Delarue via dieter@vaninnis-delarue.be. Thank you. 
 Summary of the decision – quote:
 The Brussels Court held that, while that is not the case for the original family coat of arms, the adaptation (wood carved sculpture) made of it by mr Patrick Damiaens is an original work of art and thus protected by copyright. The Brussels Court further held that by reproducing the sculpture onto a carved candle sold online and in Zara Home stores, without the artist’s permission, Zara Home infringed this copyright. 
 The Brussels Court ordered Zara Home to stop selling the candles (Zara Home had already pulled back the applicable candles), and convicted Zara Home to pay damages and legal costs, and to publish the decision in the “Heraldisch Tijdschrift”, a periodical focused on heraldic art. 
 Reflecting on Zara's typical modus operandi, the Brussels Court stated the following: "this clearly illustrates the intentions and attitude of Zara Home when designing and producing the candle: a commercially interesting and existing design, of not too much renown, is reproduced on the applicable goods in order to optimize sales without any recognition of the person who actually created the work and whose personality the work reflects."  

Statement by Dieter Delarue (lawyer for Patrick Damiaens and Mervyn Odink) 
 “As a copyright lawyer and a true advocate for the protection of innovation and creativity, it has always struck me that, no matter how strong and noisy the media campaigns against these practices were, in the end they faded away and the retailers went on and copied further. The retailers have always assumed that smaller designers or artist would be bluffed away, or would not persist in enforcing their rights. I hope that this decision, probably the first of its kind, even worldwide, can serve as a turning point in that respect, and that it may give courage to other designers or artists that are in the same boat.
 Statement by Patrick Damiaens (claimant 1):
 “I am very happy with the result. Two long years of persistence finally paid off. Zara Home found images of my sculpture online (probably on my blog), copied my work on one of its products and sold the product all over the world, without asking my permission. And then, when asked for an explanation two years ago, they simply waived the expression of my concern and feeling of disrespect away. They even threatened with a law suit for slander. I felt insulted and was too stubborn to let things go just like that.“
Statement by Mervyn Odink (claimant 2):
“To a certain extent I am happy with the end result: that Zara Home did not get away with what it did and that it has to realize that respect for third parties’ intellectual property rights is something that they need to show, too, no matter how big they are. I am disappointed, however, to the extent that the court has held that the original family coat or arms is not protected by copyright, because the creation of a work like this is in part the result of pre-defined choices or the combination of existing elements. We do not agree with this point of view”. 

Saturday, 1 July 2017

The palace of Augustusburg and hunting lodge “Jagdschloss” Falkenlust | Educational excursion with some students ornamental woodcarving to the castles of Brühl

Educational excursion with ornamental woodcarving course members to the castles of Brühl 
The palace of Augustusburg & hunting lodge “Jagdschloss” Falkenlust

The palace of Augustusburg and hunting lodge “Jagdschloss” Falkenlust

For many years now I have been undertaking annual, educational excursions with some of my ornamental woodcarving course members. In this context, the famous palace of Versailles has always been a popular destination. This year I thought it was time for something different. A couple of magnificent places in Germany came to mind. We thought it would be a great idea to visit the castles of Brühl, i.e. the palace of Augustusburg and hunting lodge (German: jagdschloss) Falkenlust. These are two prime examples of German rococo, located not too far from the Belgian border, which have been rightfully included on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Unfortunately we were not so lucky with the weather, as it rained throughout the whole day.
With a couple of cars we drove in the direction of Brühl, situated close to Cologne. It was only a 1 hour 15 minute drive from Maaseik ( where I live), making it acceptable for people who do not enjoy long car or bus rides. I have probably already visited these UNESCO World Heritage sites at least 10 times, but being in the company of several of my “students” gave an entirely different feel to this excursion, compared to when visiting Brühl by myself.

I tried to answer all the questions my students have, but I also learned new things about this fascinating style period (rococo). As always, I was very much attracted to the splendid rococo compositions, executed in stone, plaster and wood.

Hunting Lodge Falkenlust in Brühl

Hunting Lodge “Jagdschloss” Falkenlust
First up was hunting lodge Falkenlust. Originally this palace was used by the archbishop-elector and of Cologne Clemens August of Bavaria strictly for falconry and hunting. Afterwards his girlfriend and children also moved in. This hunting lodge opened its doors at 10:00 AM. As always the staff was very friendly and courteous. They were very happy to see a bigger group visiting the castle.
As we were also planning to visit the palace of Augustusburg later that day, we opted for the combi-ticket which costed 12 euros (June 25th 2016). The discount price was 10 euros.

It was highly recommended to use the audio guide, which was included in the ticket. Depending on your personal interests and the use of the audio guide a tour of this intimate hunting lodge took roughly 1 to 1.5 hours.
It was not allowed to take photographs of the interiors. The same was true for the palace of Augustusburg, and the staff made sure that the rules were strictly abided by. After some searches on the internet I did however manage to find a couple of nice photos of the Falkenlust rococo interiors.

Hunting Lodge Falkenlust in Brühl

After the visit we returned to our cars, and a 5 minute drive took us to the palace of Augustusburg. The parking lot (free of charge) was located close to the Brühl train station. This was quite useful, especially when you contemplate visiting downtown Cologne; something we did later that day. A return ticket Brühl-Cologne costed 4.5 euros, and a train ride of approximately 15 minutes took us the famous Cologne cathedral. What a luxury, especially considering the high parking costs, the low emission zone tax, and the time spent to reach the old town.

To the visitor, who is lucky enough to pick a day without rain I would highly recommend to visit the palace of Augustusburg first, then to leave your vehicle on the above-mentioned parking lot and to proceed on foot through the lovely park and forest to the hunting lodge Falkenlust.
I have done this a couple times myself and the 25-30 minute walk is truly a pleasant change of pace.

An impression of the walk to Falkenlust in 2008.

The palace of Augustusburg

The palace of Augustusburg in Brühl, close to Cologne, is generally considered the architectural pinnacle of European architecture of the first half of the 18th century. This residence of the archbishop-elector of Cologne Clemens August of Bavaria, of the House of Wittelsbach, is one of the first rococo style buildings in Germany.
Construction started in 1725 and was overseen by Johann Conrad Schlaun. From 1728 onwards work continued on the interiors and decoration based on the designs of architect François de Cuvilliés. He also designed the decorations found on the facades and in the grand reception room in Regency and late Baroque styles.

Interesting to note is that François de Cuvilliés was born in Belgium and later settled in Munich, Germany, to become an accomplished interior designer, sculptor and stucco master.
The center piece or showpiece of Augustusburg is undoubtedly the west wing staircase, which is both elegant as well as dynamic; truly an architectural masterpiece and a real treat for the eyes. It was designed by Johann Balthasar Neumann who was also responsible for the staircase in the palace of Würzburg.

Augustusburg in Brühl | German Palace

The palace of Augustusburg

Johann Heinrich Roth completed the palace interiors, including the “Gardensaal”, located on the first floor and lavishly decorated with stucco.
In concordance with the client’s expensive taste, and the prevailing style of the time, a lot of stucco marble was used. Stucco marble or “scagliola” was used extensively on pilasters and walls, often combined with trophies and other ornaments, instead of real marble. 

In those days marble was often considered too ordinary to be used as decoration. The baroque style garden (French) from 1728 can still be enjoyed in its original splendor.
This palace with its staircase and garden is one of the most important creations of German baroque.
The prince-electors only used the palace of Augustusburg as hunting and summer palace, and was inhabited approximately 4 to 6 weeks of the year. Their main residences were the Electoral Palace and Palace Poppelsdorf in Bonn.  

When Clemens August died in 1761, construction on the main halls was still ongoing. His successor Max Friedrich von Königsberg (1761-1784) oversaw the completion of the palace as planned by Clemens August. After more than 40 years of construction the palace of Augustusburg was finally completed in 1768.
With the advent of the French Revolution the prince-electorate of Cologne seized to exist in 1794. 
French troops occupied the castle and sold all the furniture. When Napoleon visited the castle in 1804, he liked it so much that he wished it had wheels. In 1809 he donated it to marshal Davoust, who neglected it completely.

Augustusburg in Brühl | German Palace
On the train to Cologne

As mentioned, we also scheduled a short visit to Cologne. Due to the rain we decided to just visit Cologne Cathedral (German: DOM), rather than discovering the old center on foot. It was a challenge to ascend the 157.31 meter south tower with its 509 steps. This massive edifice is located close to the Rhine River (250 meters), and the main train station. Cologne Cathedral, officially called the High Cathedral of Saint Peter, was built in Gothic style with a cross shaped floor plan. Including the nave and towers this cathedral is 144.58 meters long and 86.25 meters wide.

Cologne Cathedral

Construction started on August 15th 1248 but was halted in the 15th century due to lack of funding. Centuries later, in 1824, construction resumed based on the original medieval design. Finally in 1880 the cathedral was completed in Neo-Gothic style. Only the base of the west tower dates back to the 13th century. It wasn’t until 1956 that all the damage caused by the war was repaired, and the church could be officially reopened.

The Cologne Cathedral boasts an impressive inventory including a couple of stained glass windows dating back to the 14th and 16th centuries.

Cologne Cathedral, 509 steps higher

After a visit to a local “Brauhaus”, for which Cologne is famous, we took the 18:00 train back to Brühl, where we ended our educational Saturday in the “Brühler Wirtshaus”. This was the old Brühl train station which had been converted to a very nice restaurant, something we experienced first-hand.

Translation Koen verhees