Several questions were raised by a variety of paintings that decorated a metro station in Egypt, as researchers and painters said that they were stolen from paintings by a Russian artist and do not reflect the Egyptian civilization, while some demanded that those responsible be held accountable.

The crisis began when activists circulated pictures of the paintings that decorated the metro station "College of Girls" east of Cairo, designed by the Egyptian plastic artist Ghada Wali.

With the spread of designs, a number of plastic artists and art critics indicated that there was a suspicion of theft from the Russian plastic artist known for the cubist style.

With the interaction of the controversy, the pictures reached the Russian artist, who confirmed the use of 4 of his paintings in the designs of the Cairo subway without his permission or even indicating his name, while there was no comment from the artist, Ghada Wali, who remained silent about the incident despite attempts by Egyptian newspapers to communicate with her.

Theft of designs was not the only crisis, as some also pointed out that the drawings belonged to women from Africa and had nothing to do with the women of Pharaonic Egypt.

Designs by plastic artist Ghada Wali at the Girls College subway station, east of Cairo (communication sites)

Egyptian criticism

The plastic artist, Muhammad Abla, expressed his regret for what happened, stressing that the paintings of the Girls College station were taken from the text of the famous Russian artist, and there is no discussion or views in that, because they are not quoted from him by behavior, he said.

In a press statement, Abla said that Egypt has many African women, but that is not the case in this case, but rather in quoting a Russian work and dressing it in Egyptian clothes, indicating that a committee should have been formed to accept and receive these works.

In turn, the Head of the Syndicate of Fine Artists, former Dean of the College of Fine Arts, Safia Al-Qabbani, said that the artist Ghada Wali is not a member of the Syndicate of Fine Artists and does not know her, and that what happened in the reproduction of the works of the Russian artist without his permission is an infringement on him and his intellectual property rights.

Al-Qabbani added - in a post on her Facebook site - that the direct person responsible for what happened was the one who entrusted her to work on a national project in full view of the whole world, without referring to art owners, who are many, especially since she is not a mural artist.

The Syndicate of Fine Artists demanded the activation of the law of practicing the profession so that the union becomes a governing body for any artist and is held accountable before it, and that major works are assigned only to union advisors to organize work, so that what happened with Ghada Wali is not repeated.

Ghada don't really need to respond to the Russian plastic artist Georgy Korasov, who accuses you of stealing his paintings in the Girls College metro station..the blind man can see them!

The crime of assault on intellectual property occurred salvation!

Finn, the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Culture from Dh.

In the other, the Egyptian state will make the accusation

— Abbas Aboelhassan (@Abbasyz) July 3, 2022

In an article entitled "At the Girls' College Station", journalist and writer Abla Al-Ruwaini said that Ghada Wali was chosen among the 100 most powerful women in Africa, and was honored in the National Council for Women as a model for the talented girl, but it is unfortunate that her steps began to rob the artists' work without the slightest effort In search and investigation.

In the article published in the government newspaper Al-Akhbar, Al-Ruwaini said that many questions need a clear answer from those responsible for the work of the cultural and aesthetic project to develop the metro, such as: What is the philosophy and vision of the project to beautify the metro stations?

On what basis and criteria are the artists selected?

What does it mean to transfer or use the works of an international artist or any other artist without his consent, and without reference to him, except that it is theft in broad daylight?

And most importantly, how is the error corrected?

She added that without logic, Ghada Wali depicted the Egyptian pharaonic faces in the paintings in dark brown and black, which is similar to the drawings and ideas of "Afrocentric" or African centralism that shed light on African identity and its effects in the world, and attributes the ancient Egyptian civilization and all of North Africa to Greek civilization.

The Egyptian writer considered that the intersection of the station's paintings with "Afrocentric" ideas constitutes ignorance and absurdity in ancient Egyptian history, as she described it.


A Russian artist about an Egyptian designer stealing his paintings in the Girls College Metro: They do not represent ancient Egypt.. Photos #Echo_Al-Balad

— Sada El Balad 🇪🇬 (@ElBaladOfficial) July 1, 2022

Russian confirmation

For his part, Russian artist Georgy Korasov confirmed the use of his artworks in the designs of the subway, and said in statements to the Egyptian "Sada El Balad" website that 4 of his paintings were used in this project, noting that the paintings are on his site.

Krusov explained that 3 of the four paintings were sold with numbers 38 for the year 1995, No. 116 for 2001, and No. 168 for the year 2005, while the fourth is still available and bears the number 212 for 2012.

The Russian artist pointed out that one of the paintings used in the metro station is not about ancient Egypt, but rather about ancient Greece, explaining that in this painting "Penelope's wife" was drawn in the epic "Homer", while one of the paintings is about Egyptian dance from his series "World Dance" (International Dancing).

And about his feeling after seeing his works within the design of the metro station without attributing it to him, the Russian artist said that he did not feel hurt because they used his works, but he objected to not referring to his name, and wished to clarify the matter.

#Ghada_Wali I

love this story..when the thief is exposed..whether he stole a painting..a song..a melody..a idea...that feels like divine revenge..and a stigma ran after him..the

problem is that the thief justifies the theft for himself..that it is intelligence. Shatara.. Fahlwa..

But the real name: Harami

— +mohamed Zain🇪🇬 (@mohamedzainznzn) July 4, 2022

anger and ridicule

The use of Korasov's paintings without reference to him, and attributing the matter to the artist Ghada Wali, angered the pioneers of social networking sites in Egypt, especially since the paintings were completely transferred from the drawings of the Russian artist.

Tweeters mocked the fact that a famous artist quoted designs in this crude form and used them in a major metro station that thousands of people watch on a daily basis, in an era when the world has become a small village.

A number of social media pioneers claimed that it was not the first time that Ghada attributed the work of others to herself, in reference to her designing the logo that was used in the opening ceremony of the Rams Road to herself, without referring to the team that designed it.

Did the artist Ghada Wali think that she is the only one who has Pinterest?

A work displayed in the metro station, meaning a nation, there is no God but God, I saw it and thought that no one would discover what happened!

Is it the Russian artist, the owner of the real work of art, who stole books on the subject and remained a global scandal

— Taboula Al-Tweety 🇪🇬 🇱🇧 (@taboula_tweety) July 3, 2022

I know that the artist can quote design ideas, a coloring technique, and then complete it in a way that reflects his vision.

But Ghada Wali did not make any effort. She thinks, I took the man's painting as Mahi, Yadoub changed the colors.

Even change the proportions!

She is frankly ignorant, like the miserable person who agreed to enter her into the project!

— Amr Wadea (@AmrWadea) July 3, 2022

A reminder about this theft issue:

The team that has been working on a campaign and branding for Luxor for this year, accused Ghada Wali that she attributed all the work to herself and her name was drowning out newspapers and that she stole the effort of the whole group 👍🏻

There are many creative artists who do not steal someone's job and attribute it to themselves, why are these opportunities for thieves?

— Dina (@artopathic) June 30, 2022