Art Market

The ACLU has sued New Orleans, alleging the city’s onerous process for getting approval for murals violates the right to free expression.

Artsy Editors
Mar 21, 2018 2:00PM, via The Art Newspaper

New Orleans may be known as the “big easy,” but the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is arguing that securing a permit to paint a mural there is anything but easy. The advocacy organization sued the city on March 13th, calling the permitting process a “multipronged assault on the First and Fourteenth Amendments” in court filings, because it requires artists to seek government approval for their work. According to The Art Newspaper, the ACLU charged in court papers that the application comes with a $500 base fee and requires the review of “multiple government officials and committees,” whose rationale is often vague or opaque. Additionally, the regulations are selectively enforced, the organization claimed. The ACLU is suing on behalf of resident Neal Morris, who could face jail time for a mural on his property created by the artist Cashy-D, with permission. The mural features a quote from U.S. President Donald Trump’s infamous remarks about grabbing women by the genitals without permission. “I knew that there would be controversy over the Trump part—which I thought was welcome,” Morris told The Art Newspaper. But, he noted, he “didn’t anticipate conflict with the city.”

Artsy Editors
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