Plagiarism and architecture
Plagiarism and illegal replicates are a problem for artists of all kinds - including architects. Most recently, copied buildings in China have caused a stir, but architectural plagiarism happens all over the world.
'Everything is a copy'
Architects find inspiration in existing structures. And top designers usually don't have a problem when others use their works to stimulate their own creativity. Renowned Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid said once that "everything is a copy."
Sometimes architects borrow just a bit too much. A nearly identical version of Zaha Hadid's Wangjing SOHO office complex in Beijing is now being erected in Chongqing. The copyright laws in China leave room for this kind of plagiarism. Both buildings are expected to be completed in 2014.
Copy and paste
It's not the first time strikingly similar buildings in China have raised eyebrows. In 2011, the tiny Austrian village of Hallstatt (pictured) was reconstructed in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong. The project was completed, despite protests from the 900-person village.
The flip side
After initial protests, the residents of Hallstatt started to see the Chinese copy as a compliment - and something they could use to their advantage. The replica is a marketing tool that can help draw tourists to the Austrian countryside.
Replicates of famous landmarks can be found in other countries as well. Paris' Eiffel Tower, designed by French engineer Maurice Koechlin, is one of the most recognized architectural symbols in the world. Myriad copies of the 7,000-ton iron tower can be found in a variety of locations.
Tokyo's taller tower
The Eiffel Tower is a key landmark in yet another city: The so-called Toyko Tower, a TV tower with a lookout platform, was built in 1958 - nearly 70 years after the construction of the Eiffel Tower. The Tokyo Tower was meant to represent Japan's revived economic strength following World War II and is 13 meters (43 feet) taller than its French cousin.
What the Eiffel Tower is for Paris is the Golden Gate Bridge for San Francisco. The famous suspension bridge spans the entrance to the San Francisco Bay, one of the major points of entry after crossing the Pacific Ocean from Asia. The Golden Gate has been a muse for Hollywood, having been the site for cinematic murders, secret rendezvous and James Bond's stunts.
Portugal's Ponte de 25 Abril bears striking similarity to the Golden Gate Bridge. Its name refers to the Carnation Revolution, a military coup that took place in Portugal on April 25, 1974. At first glance, it looks like an exact copy of its Californian cousin, but it has one key difference: Its steel posts have cross-shaped struts, rather than diagonal ones.
New York spirit
The Empire State Building is one of the most important landmarks in New York City. Pictured is not the New York version, however, but the Torre Latinoamericana in Mexico City. The 180-meter copy was constructed in the early 1970s and is one of the city's tallest buildings.
Seat of government
The Capitol building in Washington, DC is imposing and conspicuous with its large dome. Built between 1793 and 1823, the meeting place of the United States Congress is 229 meters long and 88 meters high at its tallest point. One of a kind - you might think.
The Capitolio Nacional in Havana was built in the 1920s, based on Washington's Capitol building, by Evelio Govantes and Félix Cabarrocas. It served as the seat of the Cuban government until the revolution in 1959. Today, it houses the Academy of Sciences, the Environment Ministry and the National Library.
One-stop world tour
Yet another version of the US Capital can be found in the Window of the World amusement park in China's Guangdong province, alongside the copy of the Austrian village Hallstatt. Numerous landmarks have been rebuilt in the park, including the Taj Mahal, the Angkor Wat temple complex and Easter Island.
City of illusions
The idea of rebuilding famous landmarks as a tourist attraction is not new. The Las Vegas Strip is famous for its colorful collection of architectural replicates. The Luxor hotel resembles an ancient Egyptian pyramid, while the New York-New York hotel is decorated with a miniature Statue of Liberty. The city's newer architecture tends to be original, including Daniel Libeskind's 2009 MGM Mirage.