Although Croatia became a member of the European Union in 2013, the country that used to be part of Yugoslavia became eligible to become a member of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) II and must convert to the euro by January 1, 2023.
Croatia is getting ready by updating its minting processes to produce euro coins. The process includes a nationwide contest to create new designs for the side of the euro coins they can customize.First, the Croats upset Serbia by selecting Nikola Tesla to feature on the 50-cent coin. Tesla, the inventor of alternating current (AC) electricity transmission, is ethnically a Serb buried in Belgrade, Serbia. Throughout his life, Tesla identified himself as Serbian. However, he was born in 1856 in the village of Smiljan, which is part of Croatia today. Serbia does not believe that Tesla should be on a Croatian coin. Croatia disagrees, and the design will stay.
This past week, Croatia introduced the design of the 1 euro coin featuring an image of a Pine Marten that may have been copied from a photograph. The marten is a weasel-like animal that lives in many northern climates, including the two species that live in North America. Its prevalence in Croatia led to its selection during the design competition.
However, it appears that the marten image is a “copy” of a photograph by Scottish photographer Iain H. Leach. Leach was told about the design by others who claimed plagiarism. One user on Twitter posted a video comparing the two images by overlapping the designs.
Play the following clip and you decide.
It is the same. Hope you got credit or gave a licence. pic.twitter.com/2VVx9jVChO
— Marko (@mlinka) February 4, 2022
According to one report, a search for “side view marten” will return Leach’s image as one of the first few results fueling the plagiarism charges. Since Google searches use many customizing factors, the only way to force a search to return Leach’s image was to search for “side view marten leach.”
If the artist copied Leach’s photograph, the design would violate his copyright. The Croatian National Bank decided to not use the design.
And now the news…