Business owner fights city over definition of art
December 30, 2008
I had this article referenced on my graffiti news blog, and had discussed it a few weeks ago but thought I'd expand on it some more.
CBC News had the following online on Nov 5/08, along with a video:
Business owner fights city over removal of spray paint. Restaurateur says it's art, but inspectors deemed it graffiti.
I'll quote part of tthe item, in case the link gets archived by CBC:
A downtown Ottawa business owner says the City of Ottawa removed spray-painted art from the outside of his restaurant and then sent him a bill for graffiti removal.
Luc Lapointe, owner of Hot Peppers Thai restaurant at Somerset and Lyon streets, said Wednesday that he wants the city to put the art back on the building and he will take legal action against the city if it doesn't drop an $800 fine that was added to his tax bill for not paying for graffiti cleanup.
The large, white, spray-painted bubble letters were on the wall when he bought the building three years ago, he said. He never removed them as he thought they were artistic and inoffensive.
"Our restaurant, we try to be expressive and be younger," he said.
But the spray paint was gone in July when he returned from a speaking tour in Mexico. A month later, he received a bill from the city. Lapointe said he's upset that no one at the city talked to him before removing the spray paint.
"At least we could have had the discussion — is this art? Is this graffiti?" he said. "For them to come and remove this from my building without my permission, without even taking the time to call me — I'm upset. I think it's unfair."
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