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Graffiti 'florist' fined despite flower fans

The Local · 19 Sep 2012, 15:10

Published: 19 Sep 2012 15:10 GMT+02:00

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Augsburg court hit the 25-year-old identified as Bernhard T. with a steep fine and probation for 470 counts of graffiti vandalism, causing damages estimated at €70,000.

His flowers bloomed from mail boxes, garage doors, building walls and vending machines, appearing between autumn 2010 and spring 2011.

The "flowers of Augsburg" Augsburgblumen became a cult symbol of the city; with their own Facebook page and appeared on a range of products including badges and fridge magnets.

The city government even toyed with the idea of using the design as a marketing symbol, but then back-pedalled and denounced the flowers, vowing to sue for damages, said the Augsburg Allgemeine newspaper.

Bernhard T. said he had meant them as a 'nice gesture.'

"I wanted to make the world a little more beautiful," he told the paper.

The prosecutor had called for him to be jailed two years in jail, as he had a prior conviction.

But Judge Michael Nißl was lenient on him, because his confession saved investigators an expensive and lengthy investigation, the Augsburg Allgemeine said.

He also showed remorse. "I know that I really made a mess. I'm sorry," he said.

Nißl fined him €12,000 and gave him a ten-month suspended sentence.

Story continues below…

But even he couldn't resist being somewhat creative himself, telling the defendant, "If you commit another crime, your future will be neither rosy nor flowery."

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The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:11 September 19, 2012 by zeddriver
First rule of an artist. Paint on a canvas that YOU own. Then you can give it to your village to brighten things up. Or ask the city council for permission to paint certain areas with your flowers.
16:20 September 19, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
CAlling them Grafiti artists is wrong. They are defacing buildings most of the time. This is not art in any shape or form. Grafiti art can be nice if done correctly in designated areas. More should be done to stop the vandalism which most grafiti comes under. Some community service where the convicted is required to spend community service hours removing such unwanted grafiti would be a great idea along with the requirement to buy the material to remove the grafiti. Paint can be expensive. It would be a good lesson to be learnt.
19:50 September 19, 2012 by neunElf
I am heartened by the responses to this article and the sentence and comments by the judge.

Graffiti is a blight upon our cities!

It breeds disrespect for our surroundings. Look at Berlin!
20:21 September 19, 2012 by lucksi
I'm sure those brain dead taggers have fans as well. That is hardly an argument for defacing property. You are no Bansky.
22:15 September 19, 2012 by wood artist
There are "things" that you can do publicly that don't cause damage, deface anything, and will leave the viewer with a moment of enjoyment.

In Berlin (and perhaps elsewhere although I've only seen it in Berlin) there are people (I assume more than one) that will find a small damaged spot on a building...usually a missing brick, or maybe a spot that's never been repaired after the war. They will "rebuild that spot" using Lego bricks, usually really bright colors that stand out.

It doesn't harm the building, doesn't require the owner to do anything, and for the observant passer-by it can provide a great moment to smile before moving on. Isn't that what "art" is supposed to do? It's great fun, and I'm sure the "artist" enjoys it too.

01:56 September 20, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Can't say I have seen any of that WA. Generally what I see is black writing defacing beautifully restored Altbau buildings and newly erected Neubaus. As soon as something is made nice the defacers start to make it ugly again.

Of course what you say about a spot being repaird artistically being of benefit is true and that is what I like to see but unfortunately the majority of grafiti is used for degenerating buildings, streets and property purposes.
11:59 September 20, 2012 by raandy
This guy was way to old to be drawing graffiti flowers on other peoples property.I find this behavior offensive. These graffiti people painted a stripe on my auto.I have a friend in the USA that owns an auto body shop and he often removes company logos. I asked him how he does it. He told me to use oven spray ,let it set 5 minutes and wipe it off.I was dubious but tried it never the less and it worked out nicely.
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