Tort Law

Pricey Paint Job: Record $1.1M to Settle Public Art Destruction Case


Painting over a massive mural on the side of a federal government building in Los Angeles is costing those involved $1.1 million.

The settlement has been agreed to by 12 defendants in a case brought by Los Angeles artist Kent Twitchell over the destruction of his mural, Ed Ruscha Monument, reports the Los Angeles Times. Almost a quarter of the settlement, $250,000, is to be paid by the U.S. government.

“The settlement is believed to be the largest awarded under the federal Visual Artists Rights Act or the California Art Preservation Act, both of which prohibit desecration, alteration or destruction of certain works of public art without notifying the artist to allow the artist the option of removing the artwork,” the newspaper reports.

Twitchell was represented by Sheldon Mak Rose & Anderson, according to LA Observed.

Photographs of apparent graffiti painted over the mural prior to its complete elimination suggest that the paint job may have been intended to eliminate the graffiti.

Additional coverage:

art.blogging.la: “Kent Twitchell Receives $1.1 Million in Ruscha Mural Settlement”

LA Observed: “Downtown’s Ruscha mural gone”

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