Left: Jeff Dieschburg's "Turandot"; right: a 2017 photograph by Jingna Zhang; Credit: Jingna Zhang

The organisers of the 11th Strassen Contemporary Art Biennale have publicly responded to claims of intellectual property (IP) infringement.

The organisers confirmed in a statement that they were "committed to respecting the protection of copyright". They noted that all of the artists selected for the 11th Contemporary Art Biennale had signed a contract confirming that their works were original and free of copyright.

Recently, however, US-based fine art photographer Jingna Zhang accused one of this year's Biennale winners, Jeff Dieschburg, of having plagiarised her work.

Mr Dieschburg won the "Prix d'Encouragement" for his diptych titled "Turandot", which he allegedly copied from a photograph taken by Ms Zhang which appeared on the cover of Harper's Bazaar Vietnam in November 2017. As stated by the Biennale organisers, Mr Dieschburg is of the opinion that this is a matter of "artistic appropriation".

The organisers clarified that the jury had been unaware of Jingna Zhang's works when they awarded the prize in question to Jeff Dieschburg.

In this context, the organisers have decided to offer counter-expertise to Ms Zhang and Mr Dieschburg, through their respective lawyers, in order to settle the matter. According to the organisers, this decision guarantees the "impartiality" of the Bienniale "in the face of this sensitive and sometimes complex issue".

The organisers also strongly condemned the hate messages directed at Jeff Dieschburg via social media in light of this matter.