A Makerere art lecturer gets grilled over sh1b she wants from Central Bank for her art work
By Andante Okanya
An art don at Makerere University who claims that Bank of Uganda (BoU) illegally used her art work on the new sh20,000 note without her consent was Tuesday grilled over her demand for sh1b in damages.
Sylvia Nabiteeko Katende, a senior lecturer at the university's Margaret Trowel School, was questioned by BOU lawyer Timothy Kanyerezi Masembe, during cross-examination at the Commercial Court in Kampala.
Justice Irene Mulyagonja is presiding over the trial.
The case arose on December 15, 2011 when Nabiteeko sued the central bank, claiming she owns the copyright to the sculpture known as 'Social-Economic Growth of Kampala City'.
The lecturer claims she was never consulted, contacted, contracted nor paid by BoU before placing a picture of the sculpture on the left hand face of the note.
A replica of the artwork is depicted through a monument found at the Centenary Park overlooking the Jinja road traffic lights intersection.
Nabiteeko is seeking a court declaration that the Intellectual Property (IP) in the design belongs to her and that BoU infringed on her IP right.
The IP refers to creations of the mind such as inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs, used in commerce.
During examination by Kasozi, Nabiteeko narrated how she created the model in 1991.
She said she later won sh1m, after beating other participants in a design competition to mark Kampala City Council's 100 years of service in 2000.
She explained that KCC wanted the model enlarged and put in the park.
But the art work, according to Nabiteeko’s recount, was enlarged in her absence while away in America with her husband who was studying for his doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania.
She said she left in 1992, and returned in 1995.
The don claims she was surprised to learn that the monument design was attributed to Prof. Pilkington Ssengendo and that she was listed as an assistant.
The plaque on the monument states that it was donated to KCC by Shell Uganda.
She stated that efforts to correct the attribute failed, despite assurance from Prof. Ssengendo that the authentic designer would be recognized.
"He [Prof Ssengendo] wrote and agreed to change the plaque to say ‘designed by sculptress Sylvia Katende, and executed by Professor Prof. Ssengendo’," Nabiteeko stated.
Makerere don demands sh1b from Central Bank for artwork