Graffiti or street art?

Source: The Examiner

A teenager who graffitied two Tasmanian stores ``for everyone to see'' has been ordered to pay more than $11,500.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Ewan Crawford said he had contemplated giving the 18-year-old a suspended jail term but decided against it because of his age. 

The teenager, who cannot be named because he was underage at the time of the crimes,  graffitied parts of Launceston's Myer building and Harris Scarfe in the Brisbane Street Mall more than a year ago. 

The Myer piece was carried out between September 2011 and January 2012 and Harris Scarfe was also vandalised in January.

Defence counsel Grant Tucker said his client at the time considered the tags to be street art.

``They consider it art . . . I accept the wider community doesn't accept it as art,'' Mr Tucker said. 

Mr Tucker said his client pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and co-operated fully with police when they executed a search warrant at his Launceston home last year.  

The teen has since moved to Melbourne to attend university and was interested in pursuing art.

Chief Justice Ewan Crawford was clear on his view of the purported artworks.

``There's nothing artistic about one of these,'' Justice Crawford said. 

Justice Crawford ordered the teen pay more than $10,000 compensation to the retailers and fined him $1500.

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