5Pointz trial will venture into uncharted legal territory: judge

Group of artists is suing developer Jerry Wolkoff for destroying graffiti on his LIC building

New York /
Oct.October 19, 2017 01:30 PM

Is graffiti an art — and does it need to be protected by the federal law?

That’s the question at the heart of a trial that will determine whether developer Jerry Wolkoff has to pay damages to taggers whose works he destroyed at his 5Pointz site in Long Island City.

This week, the trial in Brooklyn that will consider whether around 20 artists have a claim against the developer, who demolished his buildings and the art that covered them in 2013 to make way for residential towers. The artists are seeking financial damages under the Visual Artists Rights Act, which is used to protect art on private property that has “recognized stature,” the New York Times reported.

“We’re working with a clean slate,” Judge Frederic Block said of the case, according to the Times, indicating the case will move into new legal ground.

In the early 1990s, Wolkoff, of G&M Realty, began allowing taggers to graffiti his buildings at 45-46 Davis Street in Long Island City. However, in 2013, he whitewashed the buildings overnight.

He is planning a $400 million residential complex at the site that includes 8,000 units spread across two towers.

At the trial, a lawyer for the artists argued their art was of “recognized stature” and that they had not been given the appropriate 90 days of notice. Wolkoff’s attorney, however, claimed the artists always knew the graffiti would be destroyed. [NYT]Miriam Hall


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Matt Lauer exposes Hamptons estate to the market
Matt Lauer exposes Hamptons estate to the market
Matt Lauer exposes Hamptons estate to the market
 Fredrik Eklund and the property (Getty, Steve Frankel)
Fredrik Eklund lists Bel Air mansion for rent as family moves to “forever home”
Fredrik Eklund lists Bel Air mansion for rent as family moves to “forever home”
Gordon Ramsey and his Lucky Cat restaurant (Lucky Cat)
Gordon Ramsay to open first South Florida restaurant in Miami Beach
Gordon Ramsay to open first South Florida restaurant in Miami Beach
Floor & Decor CEO Thomas Taylor and 4 Henry St in Commack (Floor & Decor and Google Maps)
Floor & Decor moving into site of shuttered Target in Commack
Floor & Decor moving into site of shuttered Target in Commack
Photo Illustration of Donald Trump (Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)
Treasury Department must give Trump’s tax returns to Congress: DOJ
Treasury Department must give Trump’s tax returns to Congress: DOJ
Anderson Cooper is selling the apartment of his late mother Gloria Vanderbilt (Getty, Corcoran)
Gloria Vanderbilt’s Beekman Place apartment lists for $1.1M
Gloria Vanderbilt’s Beekman Place apartment lists for $1.1M
Columbia Property Trusts CEO Nelson Mills (iStock)
Columbia Property Trust reports first net loss of pandemic
Columbia Property Trust reports first net loss of pandemic
Mayor Steven Fulop (Getty, iStock)
Jersey City to provide up to $10K more rent relief per tenant
Jersey City to provide up to $10K more rent relief per tenant
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...