Developer Who Destroyed '5Pointz' Forced to Pay Millions

15 Febrero, 2018, 05:34 | Author: Kelly Blake
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N.Y. Judge Awards $6.7 Million To Artists Whose Graffiti Was Destroyed Years ago, a developer let graffiti artists paint on his warehouse. But on Monday, Judge Block upheld the jury's decision, and his ruling awarded the artists the maximum damages possible, saying that 45 of the dozens of ruined murals had enough artistic stature to merit being protected.

"If not for Wolkoff's insolence, these damages would not have been assessed", Wolkoff wrote. "If he did not destroy 5 Pointz until he received his permits and demolished [buildings] 10 months later, the Court would not have found that he had acted willfully".

The verdict forces the current owner of the facility, Jerry Wolkoff, to pay the 21 artists the high compensation for destroying the building in 2014 to build luxury apartments instead.

5 Pointz in Long Island City on May 5, 2012.

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"I am telling you, I did not like what they did - I loved what they did", Wolkoff told The New York Times in November 2013.

He said he was impressed with the breadth of the artists' works and how many works "spoke to the social issues of our times".

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"Wolkoff knew from the moment the lawsuit was initiated that the artists were pressing their Vara claims... and could have given the plaintiffs 90 days" notice to allow them the opportunity to salvage their works", Block wrote.

The building known as "5Pointz", or "graffiti factory", displaying the work of graffiti artists from around the world, as seen between cars of a subway train as it runs above ground in the Queens borough of New York, July 8, 2004. The artwork was painted in 2013 and whitewashed a year later.

"Wolkoff has been singularly unrepentant". The artists expressed their desire buy the properties - until their value surged to over $200 million.

Block said the judgment took into consideration that Wolkoff painted over the walls while litigation was pending, the New York Post reported.

"It's vandalism from the guys who want the building back", she said at the time of the whitewashing.

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