Judge Grants Artists Restraining Order to Block Destruction of NY ‘Graffiti Mecca’

Long before British graffiti artist Banksy made headlines in New York City, local street artists converged on a “graffiti mecca” in Queens to showcase their creations.

But that collection, known as 5Pointz, is slated to be razed to make way for luxury apartments.

The owners — Gerald Wolkoff and his firm, G&M Realty — want to make way for a 1,000-unit luxury apartment complex, a lawsuit claims. But Jonathan Cohen and other artists have argued in court that they have copyright ownership over their works under the Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA) and copyright law.

On Monday, a judge extended a temporary restraining order over the landowner after a group of 16 artists sued to preserve their street art. The judge ordered Wolkoff to cease all demolition-related activities and the plaintiffs to cease all painting through Nov. 12.

Wolkoff and G&M Realty have not responded to an ABC News request for comment.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs claim that 5Pointz is unique in that it houses what is believed to be the largest collection of aerosol-street art in the world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: