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Last week, I testified in federal court as an expert witness on behalf of the 5 Pointz building. This morning, I awoke to the terrible news that the 5 Pointz building in Long Island City had been painted over to make way for yet another high-end residential building.

I’ve always called 5 Pointz the graffiti museum. It’s been a repository of hip-hop history and a place of beauty and wonder. It was home for artists around the globe, where they would come and share their work and the history of aerosol art.

5 Pointz has been a major tourist attraction for the city and a place where young and old could go for free and let their imaginations run wild. It was an inspiration to art’s free spirit and spoke volumes to artists like myself about color and form.

With the painting over and razing of this building, the arts and NYC has been sorely diminished. It will be missed, but the spirit of art for and by the people lives on.

Daniel “Danny” Simmons, Jr. is an abstract-expressionist painter. Older brother of hip-hop impressario Russell Simmons and rapper Joseph Simmons (“Reverend Run” of Run DMC), he is the founder and President of the Rush Arts Gallery.

 PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Twitter

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