Art and Real Estate Clash in Federal Court
When a real estate developer decided to replace 5Pointz in New York City with condominiums, 21 artists filed a lawsuit claiming that demolishing the popular mural space without notice violated the Visual Artists Rights Act. The landmark trial in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn would determine whether graffiti receives federal protection. After three weeks of hearing arguments from both sides, the judge ruled in favor of the artists and awarded them over $6.7 million in damages for their art being destroyed. The ruling is viewed as a precedent for protecting street art.