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Lecture - Public Art and Intellectual Property

When: Wednesday, July 5, 2017 - 15:00 to 17:00
Venue: SMU Li Ka Shing Library, Hive, Level 2, 70 Stamford Road, Singapore 178901


This lecture will address some of the intellectual property issues related to public art. 

In particular, the practice of “copying” works of art that are publicly displayed without authorization has been growing in recent years. At times, this has attracted large media attention, such as in the cases of Zaha Hadid’s Wangjing Soho being pirated in Chongqing and the UNESCO-protected Austrian town of Halstatt being copied in China. In turn, discussions over the right of "reproduction" and "copy" for architectural works in public display have intensified.

In this lecture, Professor Montagnani will examine the underpinning of private and public interests that relates to the protection of public art under copyright law. In particular, she will suggest that the author–owner–society relationship becomes exceptionally puzzling with respect to this type of art, as public art is born to be displayed in public spaces and (at least until recently) to “exist” in a single copy.

Following Professor Montagnani’s presentation, Professor Calboli will offer comments and focus on the protection of public art in selected countries in the region. She will refer to the growing practice “art merchandising”, including the (now common) registration as trademarks of logos depicting works of art and historical sites. 



Maria Lillà Montagnani is Associate Professor of Commercial Law at Bocconi University where she teaches and researches in the field of Intellectual Property. She is the Director of ASK, a Bocconi research center devoted to the promotion of cultural planning and cultural institutions management. She holds an LL.M in Intellectual Property (Queen Mary University of London) and a Ph.D in Competition Law. She has been Faculty Affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society of Harvard University, a scholarship holder at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, and Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies at Queen Mary University of London. Her current research focuses on the one hand on copyright and new technologies, in particular the liability of Internet intermediaries and "Copyright and Architecture".


Irene Calboli is Lee Kong Chian Fellow, Visiting Professor, and Deputy Director of the Applied Research Centre for Intellectual Assets and the Law in Asia, School of Law, Singapore Management University. She is also Professor of Law at Texas A&M University School of Law, and Fellow at the Transatlantic Technology Law Forum at Stanford Law School. Her recent scholarship focuses on IP laws in ASEAN with a specific interest on trademarks, geographical indications, and cultural assets. She is an elected member of the American Law Institute and an associate member of the Singapore Academy of Law. She serves in several leadership roles, including as member of the Council of the International Law Association (Singapore Branch), Chair-Elect of the Art Law Section of the Association of American Law Schools, and member of the Legislation and Regulation Committee of the International Trademark Association.



2.30pm - Registration

3.00pm – Lecture by Professor Montagnani

4.00pm – Comments by Professor Calboli

4.30pm - Q & A 

5.00pm - End of Event


Public CPD Points - 1.5 points 

This programme is an Accredited CPD Activity under the SILE’s CPD Scheme. Participants who wish to claim CPD Points are reminded that they must comply strictly with the Attendance Policy set out in the CPD Guidelines. This includes signing-in on arrival and signing-out at the conclusion of the activity in the manner required by the organiser, and not being absent from the entire activity for more than 15 minutes. Participants who do not comply with the Attendance Policy will not be able to obtain CPD Points for attending the activity. Please refer to for more information.

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Last updated on 12 Apr 2018 .