News Register for our weekly news digest here.

Anish Kapoor Settles Lawsuit with NRA over “Toxic Video” Featuring His Art

The British artist Anish Kapoor declared “victory” over the National Rifle Association on Thursday after the group agreed to remove an image of Cloud Gate, a well-known public sculpture in Chicago, from one of its promotional videos.

“This is a victory not just in defense of the copyright of my work, but it is also a declaration that we stand with those who oppose gun violence in America and elsewhere,” the artist wrote in a statement. “The NRA will not be allowed to use art in support of their propaganda.”

The NRA used the 110-ton stainless steel work, which is better known as “The Bean,” in a minute-long video it released last year called “The Violence of Lies.” In the piece, spokesperson Dana Loesch declares that liberals are using their “media to assassinate real news,” “schools to teach children their president is another Hitler,” and “ex-president [Barack Obama] to endorse the resistance.” It also shows a wide range of images, including Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Renzo Piano–designed New York Times headquarters.

After learning that Cloud Gate, which was installed in Chicago’s Millennium Park in 2006 and has since become a popular destination for tourists, was featured in what the artist described as a “toxic video,” he decided to sue the organization.

According to the legal complaint filed in Federal District Court in Chicago on June 19, the NRA did not ask for permission to use the work. Kapoor sought $150,000 in damages for the copyright infringement and a share of the profits the NRA made off of new memberships following the debut of the video.

The New York Times reports that the NRA, which successfully petitioned to have the case heard in a court near its headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, argued that it was allowed to use an image of a public sculpture and accused Kapoor of trying to stifle the organization’s First Amendment right to freedom of speech.

Following the out-of-court settlement it reached with the artist, the NRA released a statement that said it agreed to pull the image from the ad “to avoid the cost and distraction of litigation.” While the terms of the settlement were not disclosed, the NRA noted that it would not be financially compensating Kapoor.

LATEST NEWS