700-year-old picture of 'Mickey Mouse' found in Austrian church
November 15, 2002 11:10 AM   Subscribe

The similarity of the painting to Mickey Mouse is so astounding that the Disney concern could even lose its world-wide copyright licence.   Art historian Eduard Mahlknecht believes the similarity to Mickey is pure coincidence. He told Austrian daily Krone "St Christopher was often depicted surrounded by various animals and sea-life, and in this case something that resembles Mickey Mouse.
posted by quonsar (26 comments total)
 
Imagine the world wide heartbreak when that crappy Mickey gets marketed as "The Original Mickey Mouse" and then idiot parents buy them for their kids. This could be worse than the Go-bots fiasco.
posted by Mushkelley at 11:22 AM on November 15, 2002


If a miracle can be attributed to the mouse, I think we should move towards canonization..
posted by jazzkat11 at 11:23 AM on November 15, 2002


i intended to include this final link in the post, but disney is still beaming mind control rays into my building and i plum forgot. free the mouse!
posted by quonsar at 11:32 AM on November 15, 2002


I'll bet it's a hoax. Someone will eventually discover that the Mickey head was a modern addition by some wag.
posted by Cerebus at 11:34 AM on November 15, 2002


"It is most likely to be a drawing of a beaver or a weasel."

Insert smarmy comment about Austrian Beaver here.
posted by Ufez Jones at 11:37 AM on November 15, 2002


St Christopher was often depicted surrounded by various animals

...St. Christopher Robin?
posted by wanderingmind at 11:37 AM on November 15, 2002


Really, like drawing a circle with two smaller circles on top was the most genius idea ever? There are bound to be coincidences. It almost seems like a hoax though, kind of amusing.

Plus, it's too late now. We all know the image of Mickey and his character, how are they going to erase that?
posted by ambivalentgirl at 11:41 AM on November 15, 2002


What a delightful dream it would be that Disney lose the ability to bully everyone on earth over this image. But you know it ain't gonna happen. Disney will just buy the church and market this image as "Classick Mickey" in the same way they've done with Shepherd's original Winnie-the-Pooh drawings.
posted by soyjoy at 11:41 AM on November 15, 2002


Right on. Now could somebody please discover a 900 year-old Coke logo on some pottery fragments in Turkey?
posted by Hildago at 11:45 AM on November 15, 2002


I for one welcome our new Mic.........oh to hell with that. What I really want to know is, what is he doing with his left paw?

I'll be laughing about your comment for at least the rest of the day, Mushkelley.
posted by iconomy at 11:53 AM on November 15, 2002



posted by quonsar at 11:58 AM on November 15, 2002


what is he doing with his left paw?

You think the only willie he's driven was the steamboat?
posted by dwivian at 12:12 PM on November 15, 2002


Art historian Eduard Mahlknecht says"It is most likely to be a drawing of a beaver or a weasel"

Hey Eduard, I sure hope they don't let you loose during hunting season. Have you ever seen a real beaver? Come to Canada..we got lots of 'em.
posted by zane9 at 12:20 PM on November 15, 2002


Yeah, I gotta go with hoax.
posted by UrbanFigaro at 12:28 PM on November 15, 2002


Ub Iwerks, Time Traveller!
posted by scody at 12:37 PM on November 15, 2002


I'm no lawyer (yay for me!), but if this were real, I don't think it would do anything to their "world-wide copyright license" (which I think is a misnomer). They're not infringing on the non-trademarked rights of a recently discovered 700 year old picture, because that picture has no rights. In fact, if these Austrians start calling this "the cave Mickey Mouse" or whatever, they're the ones gonna be paying the Evil Mouse the big bucks. Lawyers, please feel free to correct me.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 12:50 PM on November 15, 2002


holy photoshop, quonar, that was only thirteen minutes.
posted by eddydamascene at 12:53 PM on November 15, 2002


s
posted by eddydamascene at 12:53 PM on November 15, 2002


one word: googleimagesearch
posted by quonsar at 12:56 PM on November 15, 2002


Hey, that's three words! You just smooshed them together!

I agree with RJ here -- trademark didn't exist 700 years ago, and whatever entity painted the O.G. Mickey is long dead and gone, so trademark ownership is moot. On the other hand, I doubt Disney could claim prior art on something that predates America, so anyone making T-shirts, etc. could do so with impunity for the most part, unless a specific link to Mickey Mouse® is made. If I were those church people, though, I'd cash in on this.
posted by me3dia at 1:07 PM on November 15, 2002


"Prior art" is something that only applies to patents. You can use basically any symbol you like as a trademark, as long as it is distinctive and doesn't cause confusion in the market with another product. Coca-Cola could, say, start slapping a swastika on its drinks, and if they were the only one doing so, they'd essentially own the mark and be able to prevent anyone else from using it.
posted by kindall at 1:12 PM on November 15, 2002


Hoax or not, at least it might draw some attention to the way Disney has been raping our copyright laws for the past half-century...
posted by zekinskia at 1:14 PM on November 15, 2002


Well, what do you know. It's a small world after all, I guess.

Oh come on, someone had to say it.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:30 PM on November 15, 2002


Anybody else notice the similarity between fresco Mickey and Botticelli's Venus? I feel a thesis forming.
posted by eddydamascene at 2:02 PM on November 15, 2002


Coca-Cola could, say, start slapping a swastika on its drinks

Coke: It's Hitlerific!
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 2:04 PM on November 15, 2002


damn.
posted by eddydamascene at 2:36 PM on November 15, 2002


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