Tokyo 2020 Olympics logo binned after plagiarism row

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics logo has been ditched following accusations of plagiarism by designer Kenjiro Sano.

Since unveiling his logo design for the Toyko 2020 Olympics in July, Sano has repeatedly denied claims that he copied the design from an emblem for the Théâtre de Liègea in Belgium, by Studio Debi founder Olivier Debie.

The similarities between the two designs have been widely discussed online. Studio Debi stoked the debate with a mock-up showing the two logos side-by-side, which it posted on Facebook [above].

However, it wasn't until new allegations of plagiarism arose – this time that Sano used other images without permission during the presentation of the logo, including at its official launch – that organisers finally pulled the plug.

According to the Guardian, local media report that Sano allegedly presented his original logo using a photograph from a website without permission.

While Sano has defended his Olympic logo, his claims have been undermined by past allegations of plagiarism, and Debie is due to begin legal action against the use of the logo this September.

Tokyo 2020 organisers must now commission a new design.

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Julia Sagar
Editor-in-chief retail

Julia is editor-in-chief, retail at Future Ltd, where she works in e-commerce across a number of consumer lifestyle brands. A former editor of design website Creative Bloq, she’s also worked on a variety of print titles, and was part of the team that launched consumer tech website TechRadar. She's been writing about art, design and technology for over 15 years.