You own a building in NYC, it gets vandalized, you fix it and then get sued by the vandals....Gotcha Graffiti artists suing 5Pointz owner for whitewashing their work from building BY Ginger Adams Otis NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Friday, June 12, 2015, 7:03 PM DelMundo, Anthony freelance NYDN The plaintiffs — well-known taggers from New York, London and elsewhere — said developer Jerry Wolkoff broke the law by covering up the graffiti mecca without giving them time to retrieve their work. Nine graffiti artists who spray painted creations across the world-renowned 5Pointz building filed a lawsuit Friday in Brooklyn federal court, seeking unspecified damages from the owner who whitewashed away their artwork. The plaintiffs — well-known taggers from New York, London and elsewhere — said developer Jerry Wolkoff broke the law by covering up the graffiti mecca without giving them time to retrieve their work. The aerosol artists say they are owed substantial cash damages because Wolkoff painted over their al fresco works. In 2013, members of the 5Pointz nonprofit sued to try and stop Wolkoff from tearing down the buildings to construct new development. They lost that battle, but Brooklyn Federal Judge Frederic Block noted in his ruling that they could be owed damages if their graffiti works qualified for “recognized stature.” Such works are protected under the U.S. Visual Artists Rights Acts. The “ephemeral nature” of graffiti on a building exterior would come into play, Block said. The judge said some of the works cited, including a famous piece from Lady Pink titled “Green Mother Earth,” might have qualified for protection. The artists who sued Friday were not given any warning from Wolkoff that a whitewash was coming — and therefore had no time to pull down or preserve their artwork, their attorney said. JUSTIN LANE/EPA The iconic buildings had more than 350 works of visual art on the walls — inside and out — when Wolkoff destroyed them, the lawsuit said. Some of the pieces could have gone to museums, had the artists been given notice, the suit said. “Our clients seek justice for the unlawful destruction of their artwork. This case will demonstrate that these cherished works of art must be protected to the fullest extent of the law,” said attorney Eric Baum of Eisenberg & Baum, who filed the suit. “This case is not only brought on behalf of plaintiffs, but it sends a message to everyone that the unlawful destruction of artwork will not be tolerated. If anyone violates federal law under the Visual Rights Act, they must be held accountable,” added Baum. The creation of 5Pointz dates to 1993, when Wolkoff first let visual arts use the derelict Long Island City property he owned as their large-scale canvases. By 2002, well known artist Jonathan Cohen was running 5Pointz as an artist installation — attracting tagging talent from around the globe. The iconic buildings had more than 350 works of visual art on the walls — inside and out — when Wolkoff destroyed them, the lawsuit said. The colorful, eye-catching creations were torn down for good last summer.