Finnair to remove airplane art after plagiarism charges

Finnair, the largest airline in Finland, said on Wednesday that it will remove artwork that adorns an Airbus plane in its fleet after it was discovered that the art was plagiarized.

The design on the plane, which depicts a group of trees in a forest, was created by the Finnish firm Marimekko five years ago, according to reports. But it turns out that the design was improperly copied from the celebrated Ukrainian folk artist Maria Primatshenko.

A spokeswoman for Finnair told the Associated Press that the design would be painted over as soon as possible. The airline had only recently unveiled the design on one of its Airbus 330 planes. Finnair said in a release this month that the plane was servicing routes from its Helsinki hub to the airline’s 13 Asian destinations, as well as New York.


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The discovery of artistic plagiarism apparently started with a report this week in the Finnish publication Helsingin Sanomat. The newspaper reported on the similarities between the forest design and a painting by Primatshenko known as “Metsanvaki.”

Reuters reported that Kristina Isola, who works for Marimekko, has admitted copying the design and apologized for the plagiarism.

Primatshenko, who died in 1997, was a renowned Ukrainian artist whose colorful works depicted animals, various flora and rural life.


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