Titanic spat over Picasso (now in 3D)
Artists Rights Society claims compensation from director James Cameron over use of Picasso painting
By Charlotte Burns. News, Issue 235, May 2012
Published online: 25 April 2012
The Artists Rights Society has sent the film director James Cameron a letter claiming compensation because the movie “Titanic 3D” includes a reproduction of Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, 1907 (right).
A copyright infringement was filed—and resolved—after the release of the original film in 1997. “A settlement was reached to the satisfaction of both parties pretty quickly,” says Theodore Feder, the chief executive and founder of the society. However, the new 3D version of the film breaches that agreement, he says. “Artists’ rights have to be negotiated and cleared, and this is a new use of the work.” The Picasso estate did not give its permission to use the painting, which belongs to the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
In “Titanic”, the heroine of the doomed love story, Rose DeWitt Bukater, is shown removing the painting from her luggage once on board the liner, establishing her wealth and avant-garde artistic taste. In the original version of the film, the painting is also seen sinking (along with her lover) to the bottom of the ocean. This scene is not included in the 3D version.
Cameron’s production company could not be reached for comment as we went to press.
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