Artist 'will sue London Olympics' over Danny Boyle opening ceremony designs
A HULL artist says he intends to sue organisers of this summer's London Olympics, claiming his designs were used for the opening ceremony.
Lee Sendall entered drawings of a spiral, prehistoric-style mound – which he had hoped to create near Patrington – into an arts competition run by Olympic chiefs in 2009.
Mr Sendall was told his idea was unsuccessful and thought nothing more until director Danny Boyle showed off plans for the opening ceremony in July.
He said: "In my opinion, too many details were the same for it to have been a mere coincidence."
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Mr Sendall said the hill that formed the centrepiece of the spectacular event, watched and admired by millions worldwide on TV, looked remarkably similar to his design.
"The Olympic set even had a little cottage, a lake and clouds suspended in mid-air, as you will see in my design," he said.
"I spent three months working on this design."
Artists were invited to come up with a project that was associated with English regions.
"This area has some impressive prehistoric mounds," said Mr Sendall who was pictured in the Mail with a watercolour painting showing his mound design in 2009.
The competition, called Taking The Lead, was funded by the Arts Council and invited artists to represent a region.
"I went for a mound because there is a large number in East Yorkshire," said Mr Sendall.
A friend and fellow Hull artist, Dominic Heffer, was asked by Mr Sendall to draw the postcard-style design.
Mr Sendall said: "We sent off the drawings to the Arts Council and made the shortlist.
"I was then given £5,000 to develop my idea further.
"The money was spent on finding out how viable the idea to create a large mound was.
"My intention was to create it on farmland just east of Patrington."
Mr Sendall, who graduated from the University of Hull in 2003 with a degree in fine art, lost out to a Leeds-based artist.
He said: "Two weeks before the opening of the London Olympics, Dominic saw an article in the Guardian newspaper.
"There was a photograph of a model for the opening ceremony.
"Dominic showed the article to me and I was gob-smacked.
"It looked so similar to Dominic's postcard.
"We are not happy at all about it."
In a statement, London 2012 said: "Danny Boyle was not involved in the Taking The Lead programme, which was funded by the Arts Council, and would not have seen any of the submissions.
"Danny Boyle's version for the opening set for the Olympic Games opening ceremony was inspired by the very well-known Glastonbury Tor landmark and British history."