A Biggie mural that has loomed large in Brooklyn’s Bedford Avenue for a few years is about to come down. According to DNAInfo, the mural is being demolished so that the building it’s on can be renovated in the name of raising the building’s rents.
Spread Art NYC — an art collective that has tried to keep the mural intact — explained that they weren’t able to convince the landlord to reconsider.
“We just want everyone to know that Spread Art NYC, your humble community Art organization has been working real hard to keep this mural up for the past year!” they wrote in an Instagram pot. “Landlord always calls us and claims that the neighbors are complaining about the mural and the crowds it attracts. About 4 months ago, he told us about the construction he will be doing which will damage the mural in the process. He will be opening windows on the wall to increase rent profit by $500 according to them. Today Spread Art NYC offered $5000 (which we planned to gather from the community and the fans) not to open the windows. Unfortunately, that offer was declined and it was answered by a counteroffer of $1250 a month. At this point, there is nothing Spread Art NYC can do to save this mural. We will continue to serve our neighborhoods regardless!”
The landlord Samuel Berkowitz defended himself when he spoke to DNAInfo.
“Let me rephrase the question — why should I keep it?” Berkowitz said. “I don’t even see the point of the discussion. I could demolish the building if I wanted to. I don’t need no permission from anyone except the DOB.”