Danish importer must pay artist

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The importer in Denmark of Volkswagen has been ordered by a suburban Copenhagen court to pay $226,000 to Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei for “unjustified use of artwork in an advertisement.”

The court says Skandinavisk Motor Co. A/S used one of Ai’s large-scale installations on the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean Sea as backdrop in an ad featuring a Volkswagen Polo.

The court said Wednesday the use of Ai’s installation composed of more than 3,500 life jackets collected from refugees arriving on the Greek Island of Lesbos “was a violation” of Danish marketing laws.

The court also granted Ai compensation for non-financial damage of $38,000.

Company spokesman Thomas Hjortshoej said “it was not what we had hoped for.”

“We have regretted and acknowledged that this was a human error from the beginning,” he said, adding the group that imports brands like Volkswagen, Audi, Seat, Skoda, Porsche, Lamborghini and Bentley tried to find a conciliatory solution with Ai.