Photographer accused the author of the viral cover of National Geographic in stealing the idea

1 min


Even in 2015, the same photo-illustration was created by the Slovak photographer Matus Bence. In his opinion, the new cover of the publication is plagiarism.

The other day National Geographic magazine released a cover, with the help of which it tried to draw attention to the problem of environmental pollution with plastic: the photo shows a submerged package that looks like an iceberg. The first picture of the cover was published in social networks by the senior photo editor Von Wallace, who said that such good cover “is one for the ages.”

Photographer accused the author of the viral cover of National Geographic in stealing the idea

A similar reaction was caused by a new cover of a significant part of Internet users who called it “brilliant”, “amazing” and “one of the best in the history of National Geographic”. By this time, the image in one account only Wallace collected more than 80 thousand likes and 40 thousand reposts.

After some time it turned out that a big dispute about copyrights may arise around the cover. The editorial office of National Geographic indicated that the author of the photo illustrations was Mexican artist Jorge Gamboa, who won the Bolivian poster competition in 2017. However, the Slovak photographer Matus Bence argues that Gamboa’s work is plagiarism, and the original idea belongs to him.

In support of his words, Bence published his photo-illustration, which was used in advertising by the British company Tesco as early as 2015. “somehow a lame rip-off ended up on the cover of @natgeo today.” the photographer wrote.

Bence added that he learned about the identical work of Jorge Gamboa for a long time — about two years ago. At the same time, he tried to contact a Mexican artist to get an explanation, but the answer never came. “It’s not about money at all,” says Bence. — The thing is, how much energy and energy was invested in this work. This is my life. How would you feel if someone stole something from you like that?”

Neither Jorge Gamboa nor the representatives of National Geographic have yet commented on the plagiarism.

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