Photo via Wikimedia Commons
A federal judge in Brooklyn ruled Monday that the destruction of work by 21 graffiti artists at the Long Island City complex known as 5Pointz had enough recognized stature to warrant legal protection–to the tune of $6.7 million, the New York Times reports. The judgement was awarded following a landmark Federal District Court trial in November, when a civil jury concluded that real estate developer Jerry Wolkoff of Wolkoff Group broke the law when he whitewashed the building of its colorful murals under cover of night. As 6sqft previously reported, the iconic graffiti-covered warehouse, visible from passing trains since its beginnings in the 1990s as an artists’ studio and exhibition space, was razed to replaced by rental apartments–using the name 5Pointz as a marketing angle–by Wolkoff, who has owned the building on Jackson Avenue since the 1970s. Wolkoff, who claims he cried when the building came down, now has further reason to weep: The judge’s ruling awarded the artists the maximum possible damages.