Research Handbook on Art and Law
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Research Handbook on Art and Law

Edited by Jani McCutcheon and Fiona McGaughey

Featuring international contributions from leading and emerging scholars, this innovative Research Handbook presents a panoramic view of how law sees visual art, and how visual art sees law. It resists the conventional approach to art and law as inherently dissonant – one a discipline preoccupied with rationality, certainty and objectivity; the other a creative enterprise ensconced in the imaginary and inviting multiple, unique and subjective interpretations. Blending these two distinct disciplines, this unique Research Handbook bridges the gap between art and law.
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Chapter 12: Preserving street art and graffiti: can the law reconcile the (often conflicting) rights of artists, property owners and local communities?

Enrico Bonadio


The chapter highlights issues raised by attempts to preserve street and graffiti art. It does so by exploring whether street and graffiti artists could successfully oppose the removal or destruction of their works by relying on the moral right of integrity; and whether the heritagisation of these forms of art could also be a valuable legal option to conserve them. Cases where artists have tried to protect their works, and local councils and communities have attempted to conserve street artworks, will also be mentioned. The chapter concludes that a reasonable balance between the rights and interests of all stakeholders – artists, property owners and local communities – needs to be achieved, and that this is best undertaken by judges, or administrative bodies, equipped to grasp the specificity and complexity of each case.

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