Croatian Euro Coin Design Scrapped Over Copying Row

The prize-winning author of the design for the one-euro coin in Croatia withdrew his design on Monday, after claims that he had copied a published photograph.

Stjepan Pranjkovic said he was withdrawing the design due to "negative atmosphere in the media, as well as the pressure" he was under.

A Scottish photographer claimed that the award-winning design for the one-euro coin, featuring a marten, was almost identical to a photograph that he took of the animal and published. The photograph is easily found under "pine marten side view" on Google.

Pranjkovic received around 20,000 euros in prize money - half for the marten design and half for two other solutions.

Iain Leach, who also works for National Geographic, confirmed that the selected design looks like his own photograph and said the organizers should withdraw the cash prize that Pranjkovic received.

Croatian media reported that Pranjkovic asked around on Facebook how to edit a photograph. "Help! Can someone tell me if it's possible to take a cut-out of a photograph from Photoshop and open it in Illustrator or maybe some other program just to apply some lighting effects on it?" Pranjkovic asked, adding in a different comment that he was "designing some coins".

Opposition MPs seized on the embarrassment to blame the centre-right government under Andrej Plenkovic and his Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, for running the design competition badly.

MP Sandra Bencic wrote: "The well-known practices of stealing and plagiarising are being passed on and wrapped up into a new brand," adding: "The HDZ was the one doing the selection. [PM] Plenkovic triumphantly said the designers did exactly what the government wanted."

Well-known designer Ira Payer, who represented...

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