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Christian Dior's chief designer, John Galliano has been sued for stealing the creative works of another artist to boost his own collections. The entire case is quite ironic considering Galliano's own efforts to stop counterfeiting of the Dior brand.

The European design legend used replicas of a renowned U.S. photographer's “atmospheric” images in his latest ad campaign without acting the artist's permission.

He will now have to pay William Klein 200,000€ (USD$261,800) for the unauthorized use of his “painted contacts.” 150,000€ for copy right issues, and an additional 50,000€ for damaging the reputation of his work (through very poor reproduction quality.)

Klein who resides in France, is “insulted and furious” that Galliano used his images in ads that ran in several fashion magazines and were “gross plagiary.”

The prints were replicas of his signature half-painted photos of street scenes. The artist has gained notoriety for his technique of using coloured enamels to highlight parts of photographs. One of these collections was recently featured at an exhibit at the Pompidou Centre in Paris where it did very well.

When a friend of Klein's saw Dior's ads in a fashion magazine and asked why he gave Galliano permission to use his work, the artist was outraged. That was the first time he'd heard of the campaign.

Galliano is fighting the case and hopes to have the fine reduced. His lawyer, Michel-Paul Escaped, says, “John Galliano's advertising campaign did not reproduce any original image of the artist, it can't therefore be accused of be counterfeiting.”