Fines could increase for defacing art in Philadelphia

Philadelphia City Council has approved a bill to increase the fines for defacing public art.

For those caught defacing sculptures, memorials, or other public art in Philadelphia, the bill would increase the maximum fine from $300 to $2,000.

Michael Norris of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance says tougher penalties are necessary to send a message to skateboarders and others who grind down works of art.

“It would be a tragedy if these works are put at risk if they are not protected,” Norris said. “Future artists will be less willing to contribute their time and talent to beautifying the city, and future generations will not have the wealth of public beauty that we are so lucky to experience today.”

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Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell called the fine another tax on the citizens of Philadelphia.

“Charge them two thousand dollars if they vandalize? If you need money to repair art, why don’t you say that. That’s not what you are saying, that’s not what this legislation calls for.”

If the fine is paid within eight days, it would only be $75.

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