NYC graffiti artists win record $6.7M after developer destroyed their work

A landmark verdict in a case that could forever change how building owners treat the artwork on their properties

Faster. Better. Together.
Inman Connect San Francisco, Jul 16-20, 2018

Graffiti artists whose aerosol creations were destroyed five years ago when a developer in the New York City borough of Queens whitewashed the facade of his iconic Long Island City building were awarded an unprecedented $6.7 million in damages Monday by a New York judge, who issued a fiery rebuke against the builder. Federal Judge Frederic Block announced the damages three months after a November ruling against Jerry Wolkoff, the owner of the former 5 Pointz factory building, whom the judge called "insolent" in a strongly worded courtroom admonishment Monday in a Brooklyn courtroom. Wolkoff had allowed his building to be covered by a large, colorful mural of street art that went on to gain international recognition as a symbol of New York. "If not for Wolkoff's insolence, these damages would not have been assessed," Block said, according to court documents. "If he did not destroy 5 Pointz until he received his permits and demolished it 10 months later, the Court would not have f...