City paints over legal graffiti art project on Lower East Side

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LOWER EAST SIDE, Manhattan – Pick a place anywhere in the Lower East Side and there's probably a story. Stand on a sidewalk, sometimes it'll find you.

On the corner of Orchard and Delancey streets, a building painted yellow sticks out. But it wasn't always this way.

In a before picture, colorful graffiti was seen all over the building. The owner not only allowed it, he encouraged it.

A late night in September, the city's graffiti removal team showed up and painted it all yellow.

"When I saw it, I said wow this classic city trying to destroy art," one passerby told PIX11.

The city's Economic Development Corporation explained why it painted it over the graffiti.

"We know that graffiti can take the form of public art, not just vandalism, and we make every effort to alert property owners before dispatching a crew to clean a building. In this instance our crew didn't recognize this as commissioned work, we had a standing waiver on file granting the city permission to immediately remove any reported graffiti from the property."

Photographer Bart Fisher has an eye for detail.

"Things disappear and things get put back up, which is kind've fun because the soul is coming back to life," Fisher said.

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