- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 13, 2018

A legal dispute between graffiti artists and a New York real-estate developer that began in 2013 culminated in a $6.7 million ruling on Monday — for the artists.

Judge Frederic Block of the United States District Court Judge for the Eastern District of New York chastised developer Gerald Wolfkoff for destroying 45 of 49 graffiti paintings at 5 Pointz. The payout comes three months after the artists won a lawsuit claiming “recognized stature” for their work.

“If not for Wolkoff’s insolence, these damages would not have been assessed,” Mr. Block wrote, the New York Daily News reported Monday. “If he did not destroy 5 Pointz until he received his permits and demolished [buildings] 10 months later, the Court would not have found that he had acted willfully.”

The Brooklyn judge said that the 21 artists and the community should have been able to say proper “goodbyes” to the paintings.

“It would have been a wonderful tribute for the artists that they richly deserved,” Mr. Block wrote.

Mr. Wolkoff contended that while he did allow artists to spray-paint buildings, they also knew the structures would eventually be demolished.

The developer told a local station that he planned to appeal the ruling.

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