Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Brooklyn Students Win Lawsuit Over Art Censored Last Year

Remember that Brooklyn College student art show that was shut down last May by Brooklyn Borough Parks Commissioner, Julius Spiegel, who called it not "appropriate for families"? The students won their lawsuit against the city. McBrooklyn directed our attention to a Brooklyn Daily Eagle story on the outcome. The Plan B show opened May 3 in the War Memorial Building in Cadman Plaza Park and was shut down the next day. Many works were destroyed when they were removed by Brooklyn College employees and some were lost. The exhibition reopened in Dumbo courtesy of developer David Walentas.

The students had sued on the basis that shutting down the show violated their First Amendment rights. Here's the gist of it from the Eagle:
Now, more than a year after the original exhibit was abruptly closed, the city has settled the lawsuit filed by the students. Based on the claim that their constitutional rights were violated when the city revoked their permit to display their artwork and confiscated the art, the city agreed to pay $750 each to the students and their teacher, $42,500 to their three lawyers. Julius Spiegel issued a letter of apology.
So, the students get $13,500 and the lawyers get $42,500, bringing the total cost to taxpayers to $56,000.



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