NEW YORK (PIX11) – Banksy continues to intrigue me because of the intriguing issues the case presents. First, the crime of criminal mischief or vandalism as it’s usually known involves defacing property — defacing as in reducing its value.
What if I were to repaint your house the identical color with two coats of a better quality paint? What if I re-sod your lawn? Is that defacing? Or did I just give you a makeover? A surprise makeover.
Now this is critical because in New York criminal mischief involves the intentional damaging or destruction of property and depending on the amount of damage that determines the degree of the crime. Jump to Banksy. Let’s make it easy and assume he or they haven’t touched city or government property.
Assume further it’s set for trial and the prosecution has to prove the amount of the damage. What damage? The amount of the appreciation might be 25 thousand dollars. Appreciation!
Now, I know that someone can claim that they hated this alleged artistic piece and don’t appreciate the appreciation. Be not mistaken however, whether something is trespassorial is in the eye of the victim. And one can feel victimized even when a work of art is involuntarily tattooed to their property but in the world of legal argument, it’s a novel idea and I love novel ideas. Comment.