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5Pointz Developer Loses Appeal, Must Pay $6.75 Million To Whitewashed Artists

Tuesday, February 25, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: The Copyright Society
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5Pointz Developer Loses Appeal, Must Pay $6.75 Million To Whitewashed Artists

The developer who clandestinely whitewashed the work of graffiti artists at 5Pointz will have to pay the artists $6.75 million in statutory damages for the destruction, according to a landmark appellate court decision this week.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision Thursday that upholds the ruling made by a lower court in 2018 to award $6.75 million to the nearly two dozen plaintiffs in the lawsuit. The plaintiffs include noted artist Jonathan Cohen, a.k.a. Meres One, who was first enlisted by developer Jerry Wolkoff in 2002 to convert a row of dilapidated warehouses on Jackson Avenue in Long Island City under the 7 train tracks into what became a world-renowned hub for graffiti and street art.

The lawsuit was filed under the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990, which protects public art of "recognized stature."

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