Olympic logo designer says it 'does not at all resemble' other logos

Olympic logo designer says it 'does not at all resemble' other logos
Tokyo Olympic logo designer Kenjiro Sano explains his design during a press conference at the headquarters of Tokyo 2020 in Tokyo on August 5, 2015. Sano denied plagiarism claims after his emblem triggered threats of possible legal action in Europe

Art designer Kenjiro Sano, who created the official emblem for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, said Wednesday the emblem does not resemble at all the logo for Theatre de Liege, a theater in Belgium, or another logo designed by a Spanish designer.

"I created it [the official emblem] with pride as a designer," Sano, 43, said at a press conference in Tokyo. "It is my original work." He added that it is "unfortunate" that people are saying it resembles those logos. He looked grim, in dramatic contrast to the expressions he showed when the emblem was unveiled on July 24.

Sano came back from an overseas business trip on Tuesday. It was the first time that he has appeared in public since the emblem was reported to be similar to the European logos.

It has been pointed out that the emblem Sano created resembles the theater's logo as well as a logo created by a Spanish designer. Sano said he saw these after the similarities were reported.

Sano said the emblem might resemble those partly, but the design concept is different. "Overall, there is no resemblance at all," he said.

An agent of Olivier Debie, the designer of the theater's logo, has sent to the International Olympic Committee and the Japanese Olympic Committee a document demanding the emblem not be used.

"It's very unfortunate," Sano said. He added he thinks Debie's side will understand his claim if he explains about his way of thinking regarding the design of the emblem through a press conference.

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