A couple from Florida, United States, who recreated on the facade of his house one of the works of Vincent Van Gogh won a fight against the Mayor of Mount Dora
At a press conference Nick Girone, mayor of Mount Dora, announced that he had reached a “mutual agreement” with Nancy Nemhauser and Lubomir Jastrzebsk, the owners of the house that portrays the painting “Starry Night” by Vincent Van Gogh. In return, the family had to withdraw the lawsuit against the mayor in a federal court. Similarly, the president expressed “their sincere apologies” to the two for an issue that “became an unfortunate dispute.”
A year ago, when Nemhauser asked the Mayor’s permission to paint an evocation of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” on one of the walls of his home, the authorities replied that “there were no restrictions.” However, the mayor later considered that it was a “graffiti” because it did not match the color of the rest of the house.
Not to be out of tune, the couple then decided to paint the entire house with the same artistic pattern, but the mayor responded with daily fines of $ 100 until they removed the painting, considering it “an illegal signal.” For their part, the lawyers of the Pacific Legal Foundation, said that it was an “abusive” and “selective and arbitrary restriction” that violated the first amendment of the Constitution, which protects artistic expression.
“Mount Dora can not use its vague law of signals as a way to attack a mural simply because the city does not like it,” they said.
In principle, the wall painting sought to guide the couple’s autistic son, 25 years old, in case he was lost and who loves that painting. The case had reached a federal court, which this year granted a temporary restraining order against the city, stopping the fines and preventing any further execution against the property, explained Kate Pomeroy, spokeswoman for the organization.