China, Chicago At Odds Over Sculptures

The Big Oil Sculpture, pictured, has an uncanny resemblance to Chicago's famous "Bean," also known as Cloud Sky.

China has recently revealed a new sculpture in the northwest town of Karamay, Xinjiang on August 11, 2015 that some say looks almost identical to another iconic sculpture located in Chicago, Illinois. The Chinese sculpture called “Big Oil Bubble” is drawing numerous complaints of being a copy cat replica of Chicago’s Cloud Gate, more familiarly known as “The Bean” located in downtown’s Millennium Park.

Though the sculpture in Karamay is supposed to resemble a large drop of oil to commemorate the site of the city’s first oil well, it seems a bit odd that the design so closely resembles “The Bean” with it’s huge shiny bean-shaped exterior. The sculpture in Karamay even arches slightly off the ground so that people can go under and take pictures in the reflection, something that has proven to be one of Chicago’s most popular tourist traps since it’s installation.

There are a couple of differences to be noted, the structure is surrounded by small oil drops, represented by blobs of metal, and there are plans to install LED lights beneath the sculpture to create a colorful light show.

It is not surprising that China would unveil such a structure as they have been making copycat version of landmarks like the Sydney Opera House, the Eiffel Tower and even the Giza Pyramids at one point, but for the Chinese to claim that this is their own unique idea is revolting. Do not tarnish a beloved Chicago landmark but making a second rate version and calling it your own.


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