BY ARIEL HERNANDEZ
The demolition of Long Island City’s 5 Pointz building, which was adorned with graffiti by artists from across the five boroughs, was deemed by a jury in Brooklyn this week to have been illegal.
Judge Frederic Block will soon issue a final decision and determine whether the site’s developer should be forced to pay back 21 artists whose work he destroyed.
The artists filed a lawsuit in 2013 against developers Jerry and David Wolkoff, who whitewashed the complex building overnight without warning and violated an informal agreement that had existed between the Wolkoffs and artists for approximately 20 years.
Since the vast majority of graffiti on the buildings was freestyle, the artists argued that they were not given enough notice to rescue their pieces or transport them to a museum. According to the lawsuit, the artists are stating that the demolition of the art was in violation of the Visual Artists Rights Act.
The full story will be in this week’s print paper.
Reach Ariel Hernandez at (718) 357-7400 x144, firstname.lastname@example.org or @reporter_ariel.