Some graffiti artists in Queens get a legal victory in their battle against a developer.
A jury in Brooklyn ruled the owner of the former 5Pointz Building in Long Island City , Jerry Wolkoff , broke the law when he whitewashed the building and erased graffiti art from dozens of artists and then destroyed the building. For almost 20 years, Wolkoff allowed the artists to use the building as their mural until 2013 when he decided to redevelop the property into luxury apartments. 21 artists sued Wolkoff , saying the pieces of graffiti were protected works of art under an obscure law. A judge will eventually determine Wolkoff’s punishment. It could include making him pay the artists for destroying their artwork.