New York – An appeals court in New York approved granting $ 6.7 million in compensation to 21 graffiti artists from the United States, Australia, Japan, Brazil and Colombia, whose paintings on a famous site that attracted thousands of visitors daily were destroyed to open space for luxury residences.
The Court of Appeals of the second District concluded on Thursday that a judge was correct in collecting damages to developers who destroyed the aerosol work in 2013. The court of appeals said the action violated the Artist Rights Law Visuals of 1990, which protects art that has gained recognition over time.
The place where graffiti was found in the neighborhood of The Long Island City, in the district of Queens, known as 5Pointz, was a tourist attraction that attracted thousands of visitors daily and served as a backdrop for the 2013 film, “Now You See Me “(” The Illusionists: Nothing is as it seems “). A tour of Usher also came to him. Many of the works were temporary.RELATED
“In recent years ‘street art’, which is largely ‘temporary’, has emerged as an important category of contemporary art,” the appeals court said in an opinion written by circuit judge Barrington D Parker
The decision indicates that the street artist Banksy has been on the Time list of the 100 most influential people alongside President Barack Obama and former Apple Inc. founder Steve Jobs.
“A painting by Banksy in 5Pointz would have been recognized, even if it were temporary,” the court said.
Since 2002, the walls in 5Pointz had been the basis for some 10,000 works of art. Some were temporary and were overpainted with the permission of the artists.
In 2013, developers who sought to capitalize on the rebirth of the neighborhood, once plagued with crime, destroyed the art after preventing its creators from reaching the area or recovering works that could have been removed.
After the artists sued, District Judge Frederic Block in Brooklyn concluded that the works reflected “an impressive technical and artistic mastery, as well as vision, worthy of being exhibited in prominent museums, not just the 5Pointz walls.”
The judge granted them greater compensation than normal after concluding that the destruction of the art was intentional because the artists were not given the three months allowed by law to rescue the works.
A builders lawyer refused to make statements.
In a statement, lawyer Eric Baum said the artists “are grateful and moved by the ruling.”
The lawyer said the ruling was a “clear indicator that the work of these artists is important and must be respected.”
Marie Cecile Flageul, a curator who worked with the 21 artists who will share the compensation, said the appeal court ruling showed how much the graffiti of the 1970s has advanced when it emerged and was often used as a form of protest
“It is now a recognized form of art that is collected, acquired and presented in museums and galleries in the world,” he said.
The lawyer added that the builders of cities like New York, Paris and London are looking for ways to preserve graffiti. Flageul said that the artists in the case come from the United States, Australia, Japan, Brazil and Colombia.