Anti-nuclear activists blast Partick Thistle mascot

David Shrigley with Kingsley, right, and the anti-nuclear symbol that environmental activists claim the artist has copied. Picture: Hemedia/OOA Fonden
David Shrigley with Kingsley, right, and the anti-nuclear symbol that environmental activists claim the artist has copied. Picture: Hemedia/OOA Fonden
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PARTICK THISTLE have been urged to bin their new mascot just days after launching it because of its “strong resemblance” to a famous anti-nuclear logo.

Kingsley, the Scottish Premiership side’s new mascot, was designed by Turner Prize-nominated artist David Shrigley and received worldwide attention for its unusual appearance.

Managing member of Kingsford Capital Mike Wilkins joins new mascot Kingsley. Picture: SNS

Managing member of Kingsford Capital Mike Wilkins joins new mascot Kingsley. Picture: SNS

The angry, jagged-looking character was revealed as part of the football club’s new sponsorship deal with American investment company Kingsford Capital earlier this week.

A logo with the sun-like mascot is set to appear on Jags strips and will also be prominently placed in the club’s Firhill stadium in the Maryhill area of Glasgow.

But anti-nuclear campaigners criticised the artist today, claiming Kingsley was a product of “intellectual infringement” due to a “strong resemblance” to their logo.

A copyright consultant working for the Smiling Sun movement said they were “offended” by the design and branded Kingsford Capital’s financial support of it “disappointing”.

We strongly regret and feel offended by the design by the prize-winning artist David Shrigley

Siegfried Christiansen

He also said the Partick Thistle should “consider paying respect to the grassroots campaign against nuclear power and go for another logo for their football club”.

Siegfried Christiansen, of OOA Fonden (Organisation for Information on Nuclear Power), said: “The logo has a strong resemblance to the smiling sun logo of the anti-nuclear movement.

“We strongly regret and feel offended by the design by the prize-winning artist David Shrigley.

“One would not have expected from a serious artist cheaply to use a design world famous in a rather different context.

“It is furthermore most disappointing that the American-based Kingsford Capital Management has decided to financially support this kind of intellectual infringement.

“This said, we realise that the disputed design differs from the smiling sun in a way that makes it doubtful that we would win a legal complaint, for which reason we, with regret, have decided in this matter not to take legal action against Partick Thistle Football Club.

“We think they should consider paying respect to the grassroots campaign against nuclear power and go for another logo for their football club.”

The Smiling Sun was created by Danish activist Anne Lund in 1975 as a symbol of the anti-nuclear movement.

It features a sun circled by the words “Nuclear Power? No Thanks” and has been translated into more than 45 different languages and spread across the globe.

The design is currently trademarked by OOA Fonden, a non-profit entity which protects the rights of the image worldwide.

Turner Prize-nominated artist and Partick Thistle fan David Shrigley acknowledged there were similarities between the logos, but added it was merely a coincidence.

Speaking at the announcement of the sponsorship deal, he said: “I do see the resemblance though I did make a lot of drawings of suns and let Mike at Kingsford Capital choose his favourite logo.

“It had occurred to me, actually, that anti-nuclear slogan had been appropriated during the referendum to be ‘Westminster? Nein Danke’.

Shrigley added: “The logo is, perhaps, synonymous with what people know me for - crudely drawn, gallows humour cartoons.

“We wanted to give the generic Kingsford Capital logo a bit of a personality and I think we’ve achieved that.

“Partick Thistle is very much at the more modest end of professional football where many players probably earn less than my assistant in my studio does. It’s real football.

The mascot and the design which will appear on strips were unveiled on Monday after the club signed a six-figure sponsorship deal with Kingsford Capital.

Shrigley, who created Kingsley, convinced the head of the California-based investment group to financially support the Glasgow club.

The design is expected to be on Jags shirts for the next two seasons, while a new line of t-shirts has gone up for pre-order on the club’s website.

Partick Thistle declined to comment.