Damien Hirst has been slammed after traders were banned from using images of his seaside statue on postcards.
Hirst is set to loan a 20ft bronze statue of a pregnant woman wielding a sword to the seaside resort of Ilfracombe, Devon.
The artwork will sit on the seafront and local shopkeepers were hoping to use images on town merchandise and postcards.
But they have now been told they can’t use pictures of the statue – because it would infringe the Turner Prize winner’s copyright.
Traders have been told they’ll have to buy official merchandise rather Than being able to create their own.
One stormed: “I’m not surprised. This is not about promoting Ilfracombe, it’s about keeping Mr Hirst’s profile up.
“I would like to sell Verity souvenirs in my shop but I wouldn’t buy them from him. The whole thing’s nonsense, it’s a scam.”
North Devon Council spokesperson Amy Bingham said intellectual ownership of the statue would remain with Hirst’s company Science Ltd.
He said: “As with any licensed item, businesses and individuals cannot create their own items, use imagery, logos and trademarks for profit-making purposes. If anyone does this, they will be in breach of the artist’s copyright.”
It is understood Mr Hirst will have photos of the statue commissioned once it is erected which will be made available to the council for tourism marketing purposes.
The artist is offering the statue, called Verity, to Ilfracombe on a 20-year loan according to the planning application.