News

July 26th 2012

Santa & Cole asks FC Barcelona to support its position in its dispute with Qatar

BARCELONA, 26 July. (EUROPA PRESS) -

The Chairman of Santa & Cole, Javier Nieto Santa, asked FC Barcelona this Thursday to act as an intermediary and to support the Catalan company’s position in its dispute against the state of Qatar for having counterfeited the 'Latina' street lamp, designed by the architect Beth Galí, and having installed almost 900 plagiarized units, manufactured in China, in the main avenue of Doha.

In a statement to Europa Press, Nieto urged FC Barcelona and its President, Sandro Rosell, to show its support for Catalan creation and not the "piracy" represented by Qatar, requesting it to defend the values of the club and of Catalonia above money.

"If Barça does not support us they will be pandering to Qatar’s state piracy in exchange for money. It would be a sad end to a great club’s values. History is written at times of moral dilemma", he proclaimed.

He also requested the club not to remain on the sidelines, as its help would be essential to solve this dispute. "I am confident that in the end they will grant more importance to values and will pick up the phone. A simple call from the club supporting the legitimate rights of Barcelona’s companies and professionals could resolve this problem. They know this but so far they have preferred not to do it to avoid troubling their client", he regretted.

For Nieto, FC Barcelona has benefited from Qatar’s friendly face with the sponsorship of the 'Qatar Foundation' on its football shirts, but he indicated that the Qatari state has a "tremendous disdain" for international law which cannot go unpunished. "There are times when you have to decide whether or not morality can be diluted with money", he stated.

The dispute arose in 2005, when the public Qatari company Ashghal requested a complete lighting project from Santa & Cole for Al Waab Street in Doha on the occasion of the 15th Asian Games and, after the Qatari authorities chose the 'Latina' street lamp, in 2006 Qatar entrusted the manufacture of almost 1,000 copies of the street lamp from a local company which manufactures in China.

After six years of attempts to reach an amicable agreement, the Catalan architect and designer Beth Galí decided to file a lawsuit against Qatar with the support of Santa & Cole and of Barcelona Centre de Disseny (BCD), whose Chairman, Pau Herrera, declared on this subject that it is high time to put an end to these acts of "savage plagiarism".

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