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Artist alleges Aishwarya Rai's wedding sari design stolen from him

Police in eastern India are investigating a complaint that the designs on two saris created for Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai's wedding were plagiarized from a previous work of art, police said.

The two intricately woven garments were made by award-winning craftsman Chaturbhuja Meher. Rai's now father-in-law, Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan, purchased them for her April wedding to his son, actor Abishek Bachchan.

The saris, like the wedding, made a splash and now Meher's cousin, Kailash Meher, has filed charges alleging that the designs were taken from his painting "The Tree of Life," N.P. Nayak, a police officer in the eastern state of Orissa said Wednesday.

The two artists live in the state.

Nayak said the sari maker was being investigated for fraud. "The charges are serious in nature," he said.

Chaturbhuja Meher denied the allegations, saying his creation was substantially different from the painting.

"All the charges made against me are false. I am contemplating a defamation suit", the master weaver told a local television channel.

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