Row erupts over new Frida Kahlo Barbie

Row erupts over new Frida Kahlo Barbie

Kahlo's great-niece Mara de Anda Romeo said Mattel doesn't have the rights to use Kahlo's image.

The corporation said it got the rights through Kahlo's niece, Isolda Pinedo Kahlo, more than a decade ago.

"Mattel has worked in close partnership with the Frida Kahlo Corporation, the owner of all rights related to the name and identity of Frida Kahlo, on the creation of this doll", a spokesperson said.

It comes after the toy company Mattel launched a range of new Barbie dolls based on "Inspiring Women" - Kahlo among them.

Mattel says it received the rights to produce the doll with the Frida Kahlo Corporation, which was founded in Panama in 2005.

Romeo said the problem went deeper than just a dispute over image rights.

But both the Frida Kahlo Corporation and Mattel have rejected the claims.

For International Women's Day this year, Barbie celebrated impactful female role models with created 17 realistic-looking dolls, including Kahlo, mathematician Katherine Johnson, and aviator Amelia Earhart.

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Pablo Sangri, Romeo's lawyer, communicated that the doll was a kind gesture but for the company to continue to sell the doll, it would need to be redesigned; features would have to be renegotiated.

While the critics of the doll make legitimate points, there is something to be said for the celebration of Kahlo's life and the impact such a Barbie can have among today's youth. "It should be a doll that represents everything my aunt represented, her strength", she told AFP.

But the latter has violated their contract by failing to inform Kahlo's relatives about the uses of her image, he told AFP.

Frida Kahlo was one of the many notable women to have their likeness immortalized in a Barbie Doll in honor of International Women's Day, but Mattel's rendering of the famed artist has drawn more backlash than inspiration. "It should be a Frida that represents Mexico".

The artist with the famous unibrow was famous for her self-portraits and became a feminist icon.

But Romeo said the companies behind such products are making them without the family's permission, and violating Kahlo's legacy in the process.

Kahlo (1907-1954), the wife of the Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, is considered one of the great painters of the 20th century for her searingly intimate portraits, often dealing with her own pain and isolation.

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