Artists sue city over removal of murals deemed 'offensive'

Artists sue city over removal of murals deemed 'offensive'

April 26th, 2018 by Associated Press in Breaking News

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A dozen artists are suing Memphis, Tennessee, over the scrubbing of five murals deemed offensive by the City Council.

The lawsuit filed in federal court in Memphis on Wednesday claims the city violated the Visual Artists Rights Act, which protects against the unlawful destruction of visual art.

Earlier this year, the city painted over murals by Paint Memphis, which commissioned the artwork. The paintings included what some council members called a "satanic" mural of a zombie covered in maggots and of Elvis with a snake winding through his face.

The council has voted to temporarily ban the creation of murals on public property.

The suit seeks damages for the artists' alleged financial losses and damage to their reputation. The city declined immediate comment Thursday.