Via Free Beacon:

A federal judge on Monday awarded graffiti artists $6.7 million in damages after a developer whitewashed their artwork, which was spray painted on the walls of several blighted warehouse buildings at the 5 Pointz mural art space in Queens, New York City.

U.S. District Judge Frederic Block in Brooklyn said that 45 of the 49 paintings were recognized works of art that Jerry Wolkoff, who owned the buildings, “wrongfully and willfully destroyed,” the Associated Press reported.

The case arose after Wolfkoff in 2013 chose to paint over the graffiti as he was redeveloping the site to make room for luxury high-rise residences. The buildings were torn down a year later.

Wolkoff, who owned the site for years, had allowed the artists to use the buildings as canvases for their work, prior to deciding to redevelop the area. Wolkoff’s attorney argued that he had told the artists in advance that the buildings were not permanent as he had plans to redevelop.

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