Property Rights

California Artist Sues Over Destroyed Mural, Claims Federal Law's Protection

Suing the property owner and advertiser


It was April of last year when The Eastsider reported that a Silver Lake mural of a wide-eyed Zapotec woman wearing a crown of iguanas had been painted over and covered with a two-story ad for Newcastle beer.  This week, the artist of that mural, Annie Sperling of Silver Lake, filed a federal lawsuit against the property owner and beer maker, claiming they had violated  federal and state laws protecting such artwork and resulted in $250,000 in damages to her mural, La Nuestra Reina de Las Iguanas, that once covered the side of a Sunset Junction building.

The defendants "acted in conscious disregard of the rights of Sperling and without taking advantage of preservation techniques that would have saved the "Our Lady of the Iguanas" mural for future enjoyment," according to the suit filed in U.S. District Court.