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Three Artists Sue AEG for Dumping Their Murals From Ritz-Carlton Art Show

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Street artists are used to having their work destroyed or painted over — but probably not when their work is being displayed indoors.

The California artists Shepard Fairey, Mear One, Chor Boogie, and Shark Toof had their work on display in a penthouse at the Ritz-Carlton for an L.A. Art Show event — in the hopes that a taste of the "street" would attract deep-pocketed prospective condo buyers.

Fairey's art was sold off, but the suit says that AEG’s condo sales director wanted to keep the remaining five pieces on hand to impress prospective buyers who came in after the event. When the show's curator Bryson Strauss tried to get the remaining five pieces back, he was told that AEG had dumped it, according to the Los Angeles Times. (The Times points out that AEG is the group responsible for sending treasures from King Tut’s tomb across the globe). The suit says AEG is refusing to compensate the artists for dumping their work, when it promised to give the pieces back. Now the artists are suing AEG and asking for $150,000 for each lost piece, as well as punitive damages.

AEG offered up this statement to KPCC:

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AEG does not agree that plaintiffs in this matter have accurately or completely set forth the facts associated with this matter. Nor does AEG agree with the legal positions taken by the plaintiffs in their lawsuit. AEG looks forward to vigorously defending itself in court.