Finally some good news from all of the bad concerning graffiti mecca 5 Pointz. After a trial that, using the VARA law that art cannot be destroyed without 90 days notice, a jury in Brooklyn came back with a guilty verdict that the destruction of the aerosol art was illegal.
Here is the coverage from Untapped Cities:
The question of whether graffiti should be considered art was the central issue in the 3-week trial concerning the 5Pointz complex in Queens, which ended on Tuesday when a jury found that a New York City real estate developer broke the law when he tore down the complex, The New York Times reported. With the demolition of the building, 49 vivid graffiti murals spray-painted on the complex’s walls were gone.
Though Wolkoff’s lawyer, David Ebert, argued that the 21 artists involved had erased more graffiti themselves by constantly changing their art, with nearly 11,000 murals coming and going over the years, the jury ultimately sided with the artists.
Both Ebert and Baum agreed that Block would only take the jury’s ruling as a recommendation. The judge has requested the two submit court papers within the next few weeks regarding the verdict’s validity. Following this, he will reach a verdict which may force Wolkoff to pay damages to the graffiti artists.
For more on the whitewashing and demolition of 5Pointz, check out 5Pointz Graffiti Haven in Long Island City Whitewashed Overnight by Building Owners and 35 Photos from Inside the Demolition at 5 Pointz Street Art Haven.