Mayor Bloomberg attempts to ban graffiti art exhibition

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Date: 2005

Region: North America

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Painting, Public Art


Artist: 20 Graffiti artists; Marc Ecko, founder of Ecko Unlimited the sponsor of the event

Confronting Bodies: Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg; Commissioner of the Community Assistance Unit, Office of the Mayor, City of New York, Jonathan Greenspun

Date of Action: August 2005

Location: New York City

Graffiti.jpg

Description of Artwork: The art exhibition consisted of two mock subway cars that would be painted over by twenty graffiti artists.

The Incident: The City of New York revoked Ecko's permit enabling them to have the graffiti art exhibition. Initially the City claimed they revoked the permit based on the commercial nature of the exhibition because a commercial event requires a different and more expensive permit than an art exhibition. The City eventually stated that the exhibition would promote criminal activities such as painting graffiti on actual subway cars.

Results of Incident: After talking the matter to the United States District Court fot the Southern District of New York, the court required the City to reinstate the permit because their actions were unconstitutional.

Source: The Gothamist, www.gothamist.com