If you're going to steal, steal big -- or so Romanian artist Iani Papadopol thought
. Papadopol put on an exhibit called "UpDate 3D loading" featuring fantastic landscapes and scenery. The only problem? Instead of painting them himself, he ripped off several well-known illustrators, including ArenaNet's Daniel Dociu
and Blizzard's Mathias Verhasselt
, claiming the pieces as his own.
The fraud was discovered by online fans and local artists after the exhibit was broadcast on TV. Papadopol's works were found to be stunningly similar -- in fact, identical -- to those of famous video game illustrators. Papadopol attempted to sell the prints before he was caught. There's no word yet whether charges will be filed.
"I found out from my friends," Dociu, a fellow Romanian, said on a news channel. "I recognized four pieces of my work immediately. What upsets me is that he's also Romanian with an artistic background. I will not take legal action if he admits what he did."
Papadopol's father, the acclaimed artist Constantin Papadopol, says that this is a misunderstanding. In any case, let this be the lesson to the next lazy art thief: It's perhaps best not to rip off the guy whose work was on the cover of National Geographic