Bolivar’s face belongs to some French guy

Side-by-side: Original 3D version of Bolivar’s face and the “interpretation” made by Venezuelan artist Omar Cruz

Since its unveiling to the world, the new 3D version of Simon Bolivar’s face has equally benefited the Chaverment’s media machinery and average Venezuelan buhoneros. Days ago, a new controversy about possible limitations to the uses of these image has showed up in Chavismo-related media outlets.

Omar Cruz is a Venezuelan cartoon artist and graphic designer. He’s also a passionate follower of Hugo Chavez and El Proceso. He was one of the cartoonists in the weekly political satire section of newspaper El Nacional called El Camaleon, published between 1988 and 2003. He sometimes works with the Chavernment, including the mural at the entrance of the Information Ministry that was posted in this blog earlier in the year.

Cruz decided to make his own artistic interpretation of Bolivar’s new look, basically to make him look prettier and closer to the image we’re all used to. He posted it in his Facebook page. Soon he got a message from Philippe Froesch, the French head of the team of experts involved in the 3D reconstruction of the Libertador’s face. Froesch asked Cruz to retire his “interpretation” of his page, because he was infringing his copyright.

Cruz answered Froesch with a public statement on Aporrea. He wrote that his version of Bolivar doesn’t have any commercial purposes and that “Simon Bolivar is universal, he doesn’t belong to anyone in particular, for more “official” that some tried to put it”. But at the same time, he indicated that he will retire it “…if the Bolivarian Government asks him to do so.”

Wait, what? Cruz contradicts himself saying that Bolivar belongs to everybody but also the Venezuelan State has the final word. By that logic, the U.S. government could claim all copyrights on the Founding Fathers, the UK could ask the same with Shakespeare’s body of work and the Vatican would end up owning the Bible.

Remember that he lives in Venezuela, where copyrights are ignored on every single street.