Developer Who Destroyed '5Pointz' Forced to Pay Millions
Justice for 5Pointz artists
New York City developer Gerald Wolkoff has been ordered to pay $6.7 million for whitewashing the iconic graffiti haven 5Pointz in 2013.
Brooklyn federal-court Judge Frederic Block handed down the decision on Monday.
According to the NY Post, Block “angrily” handed down the decision. In his decision, Block wrote:
“The shame of it all is that since 5 Pointz was a prominent tourist attraction, the public would undoubtedly have thronged to say its goodbyes during those 10 months and gaze at the formidable works of aerosol art for the last time…It would have been a wonderful tribute for the artists that they richly deserved.”
The sum is so vast because Wolkoff took matters in his own hands instead of following legal procedure. In 2013, Wolfoff painted over the Graffiti haven overnight, destroying decades of work. The artists than sued Wolfoff under the Visual Rights Act, which protects artworks that is notable.
The judge made sure to bring up Wolkoff’s actions:
“If not for Wolkoff’s insolence, these damages would not have been assessed. If he did not destroy 5 Pointz until he received his permits and demolished it 10 months later, the Court would not have found that he had acted willfully.”
After painting over 5Pointz, Wolfoff destroyed the site then built luxury housing in its place.