Artist Kent Twitchell settles suit over disappearing mural

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Los Angeles artist Kent Twitchell has settled his lawsuit against the U.S. government and 11 other defendants for painting over his six-story mural "Ed Ruscha Monument," painted on the side of a federal government-owned downtown building, for $1.1 million.

The settlement is believed to be the largest awarded under the federal Visual Artists Rights Act or the California Art Preservation Act, both of which prohibit desecration, alteration or destruction of certain works of public art without notifying the artist to allow the artist the option of removing the artwork.

Art consultants have said it still may be possible to restore the mural, which was created between 1978 and 1987 and painted over in June 2006.

The U.S. government will pay $250,000 of the settlement. The other defendants are contractors and subcontractors responsible for managing and maintaining the building at 1031 S. Hill St., at Olympic Boulevard, which houses the Los Angeles Jobs Corps Center.

diane.haithman@latimes.com

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