Delhi-based artist Nandita Richie finds this box of Bikanervala barfis rather bitter. Reason: Its cover has her painting without her permission. “They have devalued my artwork, I feel cheated. They have to pay me the damages,” says Richie, 42, who has many national and international art shows to her credit. Richie discovered this last week, when she visited the famous sweet chain’s Netaji Subhash Place outlet.
“I was in complete shock to see my painting, Adorning Krishna, on their boxes. It even has my signature,” says Richie. “I asked the manager at the shop and he appeared completely ignorant about the whole issue.” To double check, Richie went to the Janakpuri branch and found the same boxes there. “We have sent a legal notice to them,” she says.
The brand’s officials, on their part, say they outsource the cover graphics. “We usually outsource the designing of our boxes but as of now we have no knowledge of this case,” says Raman Mishra, legal official, Bikanervala.
Arun Batta, a lawyer at Delhi High Court, says, “In such cases of breach of artistic copyright, many things are taken into consideration. It can sometimes also lead to criminal proceedings.”
The artwork was created by Richie in 2010. It was last exhibited in December, 2010 at Delhi’s Taj Palace Hotel for the solo show of her paintings depicting Lord Krishna.