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In a first-of-its-kind jury trial that explored the question of whether graffiti is considered art, a jury found that a developer broke the law when he whitewashed works of street art adorning a complex of buildings in Queens and demolished the building.

Following a roughly three-week trial, a jury of four women and two men handed up an advisory ruling on Tuesday in which they said developer Gerald Wolkoff violated the Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA) when he whitewashed more than 350 pieces of street art at 5Pointz, a collection of five properties in Long Island City, Queens, that plaintiffs said was known as the “Mecca of the aerosol art world.”

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Andrew Denney

Andrew Denney is a New York-based reporter covering litigation and other news from the federal and state courts. He can be reached at [email protected] Twitter: @messagetime

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