5Pointz in New York

Urban artists of 5Pointz will be compensated for losing their work

This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)

Following the destruction of the renowned building known as 5Pointz, artists will be compensated with $6.7 million in claims for damages to their work

In 2013, the iconic 5Pointz Aerosol Art Center, Inc., better known as 5Pointz, was demolished. It was replaced with several luxury residential condos. Now, 7 years later, the Court of Appeals of the 2nd District of New York approved to compensate graffiti artists with $6.7 million for their destroyed artworks.

Courtesy: SAG-AFTRA

The building was a street art museum, located in Long Island City, Queens, New York. In fact, it was a tourist spot where locals and foreigners came together because it represented an artistic, colorful and urban space.

Additionally, many graffiti writers and street artists left their artworks, reflecting a trail of multiculturalism on its walls. Artists from the United States, Australia, Japan, Brazil, and Colombia lost their pieces during the destruction of the property.

The Office
The Office at 5Pointz Courtesy: P.Lindgren – Own work

Thus, it should be noted that the Court’s ruling favored artists by recognizing that the action taken in 2013 violated the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990. They didn’t even give them the three months mandated to rescue their work and safeguard it from the imminent demolition.

Condos where 5Pointz used to be
Courtesy: Michael Young
Graffiti at 5 Pointz
Courtesy: Andrew Burton / Getty Images Hungary

This news brings back the debate on whether street art is protected or not. Hence, we know the legal implications when it’s a government-owned building or a private one, where the artwork is paid for.

However, in this case, the building had an owner, but the artists’ work was protected by the aforementioned law. Consequently, the street artists will be able to celebrate the positive outcome, despite losing their creations seven years ago.

This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)