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Mural With Ancient-Egypt Take On Michelle Obama Draws Plagiarism Allegations

(CBS) -- An art student claims a creative planner stole her work in painting a mural of former-First Lady Michelle Obama on the South Side.

WBBM's Jim Gudas reports.

The mural on the side of a building on East 74th Street shows Michelle Obama in ancient Egyptian garb.

Ethiopian art student Gelila Mesfin says she created the image and posted it online in tribute to the former first lady and Chicago native.

Michelle Obama Mural Controversey
This Instagram post shows the work of artist Gelila Mesfin, who portrays former first lady Michelle Obama in ancient Egyptian garb. (Instagram/thick_east_african-girl)

Creative planner Chris Devins found the image, and claims he simply used a technique that mural painters have long followed. He says he used that image to create his crowd-funded mural.

Devins claims Mesfin's creation itself was an interpretation of another artist's original.

Mesfin and Devins apparently are negotiating a resolution to the dispute – a development Mesfin reported on her Twitter page.

Meanwhile, an admirer of Mesfin's work has started a Go Fund Me page seeking support for her.

WBBM reached out to Mesfin for comment.



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