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Artists Get $6.7M After Their NYC Graffiti Murals Were Destroyed

A federal judge awarded $6.7 million to 21 artists who created graffiti murals at the now-destroyed 5Pointz complex in New York City.
Posted at 2:26 PM, Feb 15, 2018

In 2013, a real estate developer destroyed dozens of graffiti murals painted on the 5Pointz complex in New York City.

And now, a federal judge decided that developer must pay the people who created the murals $6.7 million.

Twenty-one artists filed a lawsuit against real estate developer Jerry Wolkoff after he whitewashed over the murals virtually overnight. He later turned the complex into luxury apartments.

Now, these murals weren't just ordinary graffiti. According to court documents, over the years, 5Pointz had become "the largest collection of exterior aerosol art" in the U.S.

The artists sued Wolkoff under the Visual Artists Rights Act, which protects public art of "recognized stature" across the country from being destroyed.

Back in November, a jury sided with the artists. And on Monday, a federal judge awarded the artists the maximum damages and said Wolkoff didn't show remorse for "willfully" demolishing the murals.