You can’t paint over the face of the Mona Lisa and not offend history. You can’t just white wash the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and rob future generations of the magnitude of its glory. Well there was a similar offense in a much more modern aspect. 5 Pointz was a building in Queens, NY that showcased spray-paint murals all over and inside its territory. Most visible to those riding on the 7 subway line, the art embraced the hip-hop culture and drew artists from Brazil to Germany to grace the walls of this castle of urban expression.
As per Wikipedia “The factory building gained the name ‘5 Pointz’ in 2002 when graffiti artist Jonathan Cohen started using the moniker as a reference to the five boroughs of New York City. The murals were exhibited mainly on the exterior walls of the building, while the interior was occupied by about 200 artists’ studios.”
In 2013, the Landlord announced that he would tear down the building to make way for a luxury condos. More devastating than the lost landmark status, one morning the landlord had his people cover the building that was graced with culture and history with white paint without even allowing the public to have a proper goodbye.
Devastation was all that could be said about this criminal act. Yes, criminal. Not only a crime against art, culture, and history no this was done while the landlord awaited his permits and demolished the art 10 months before he had the right to do so.
A win in the 3 week trial led to the artists being awarded 6.7 million dollars in damages. Not that this could make up for all the lost history but a small win for those who made the building a site for sore eyes. If you watch the season finale of “Rescue Me” or the movie “Now you see me” you can catch a brief glance of the buildings magnificence. A loss for future generations but a win for the tears shed by 5 Pointz enthusiasts.