Culture Musings - Graffiti artists, taggers hit with $1 million lawsuit

Fed up with finding their home and building defaced with graffiti, two Old Fourth Ward residents and a nearby business have filed a lawsuit against the people they say are behind the works. The AJC's Kristi Swartz says the lawsuit, filed Friday in Fulton County State Court, seeks $1 million in punitive damages for intentional destruction of property and emotional distress.

Among those named in the surprising lawsuit, the paper reports, are some of the city's most notable graffiti artists, including Hense, Ghost and NOPE. Also named are several businesses and — surprisingly — "25 additional unnamed defendants known only by their tags." Defendants contacted by Swartz denied any involvement or referred questions to an attorney. (Check out her full article here for more details.)

The legal move's yet another sign that Atlanta — and many of its neighborhoods — are ratcheting up efforts to curb uncommissioned graffiti. As we reported late last year, the city's revived its anti-graffiti task force to crack down on unwanted tags and murals on public property. And according to a neighborhood listserv message included on this lively Atlanta subreddit thread, the Atlanta Police Department's "graffiti abatement officer" has been meeting with residents tired of painting over bricks and peeling posters off walls.

The lawsuit — which is the first of its scope that we've heard of — should be interesting. Stay tuned.

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