Judge Awards 5Pointz Graffiti Artists $6.7 Million for Destroyed Works


A federal judge in Brooklyn on Monday awarded $6.7 million to graffiti artists whose works at the 5Pointz complex in Long Island City were destroyed in 2013, The New York Times reports.

Twenty-one graffiti artists sued 5Pointz owner Jerry Wolkoff, a real estate developer, for painting over the dozens of murals that adorned the complex in 2013. They accused Wolkoff of violating the Visual Artists Rights Act, which protects public art created on another person’s property. A three-week trial began in November, and a civil jury found that Wolkoff broke the law in destroying the art works.

Although Judge Frederic Block initially changed the verdict to a recommendation, but on Monday he upheld the decision of the jury, and awarded the artists the maximum damages allowed.

“He was bent on doing it his way, and just as he ignored the artists’ rights he also ignored the many efforts the Court painstakingly made to try to have him responsively answer the questions posed to him,” Block wrote in his opinion, according to The Washington Post. “Wolkoff has been singularly unrepentant.”

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