November 20, 2013 8:40 am
Updated: November 20, 2013 9:58 am

Before and after photos of New York’s graffiti mecca 5Pointz

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TORONTO – New York’s historic graffiti mecca 5Pointz was erased early Tuesday, with a majority of the artwork being painted over with white paint.

The five-storey warehouse complex in Queens had been a popular gathering for art fans.

Here’s a look at before-and-after photo compilations of the historic graffiti mecca 5Pointz as seen on August 8, 2013 and again, after being painted over by developers in the night on November 19, 2013. (Photo credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Artists and representatives of 5Pointz have been in a brutal battle to save the building, which the owner, Jerry Wolkoff, wants to knock down in order to develop high rise apartment buildings.

The artists have argued that the building should be saved by the city as a historic landmark.

“This is the biggest rag and disrespect in the history of graffiti,” said Marie Cecile Flaguel, a spokeswoman for the group behind 5Pointz in an interview with The New York Times. “He’s painted over the work of at least 1,500 artists.”

Wolkoff said he wanted to avoid confrontation and will include a 60-foot-high wall near the new towers “where graffiti painters can work again” and said painting over the graffiti artwork was the most humane thing to do ahead of tearing the building down.

Last month, British street artist Banksy featured Save 5Pointz as his last words on a website that followed his monthlong street art residency in New York City.

© 2013 Shaw Media

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