Friday, September 18, 2015

Who Owns Banksy's Graffiti?


PatentlyO describes a fascinating landlord/tenant dispute:

Banksy is a pseudonymous British street artist known for satirical and subversive graffiti. In 2014 one of his paintings appeared on the back wall of a game arcade in Folkestone(See image).  The building was owned by Stonefield Estates Ltd but the entire building is subject to a 20-year lease to Dreamland Leisure.  Seeking to capitalize on the work, Dreamland had the section of wall removed and put up for sale. (The Wall Now) Dreamland justified this move based upon the lease, which included a provision that would arguably require the tenant to remove or paint-over the artwork.

The Landlord (Lessor) transferred its rights to the work in quitclaim form to the Creative Foundation – a registered charity seeking to promote the art scene in Folkestone – who then sued Dreamland for possession.

The Landlod ends up winning the case.  The case is fascinating for the variety of topics it touches: the tension between leases as contracts and as conveyances, the duty to repair, accession, fixtures, trespass, and remedies.

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