French Artist Invader Acquitted of Criminal Damage Charges over Mosaic Installation on Malaga’s Episcopal Palace Wall, 2023

Following a five-year legal battle, Invader has been acquitted of criminal damage charges concerning the installation of a mosaic of a flamenco dancer on the wall of the protected episcopal palace in Malaga.

The French artist had affixed the artwork to the palace’s exterior without obtaining the proper permissions in 2017 when he invaded Malaga with mosaics as part of his world invasion. In response, the diocese of Malaga demanded that the mosaic be removed and called for action by the city council and regional government’s culture department. Despite acknowledging the artistic quality of the mosaic, the bishop of Málaga deemed it an inappropriate addition to the protected palace’s exterior, citing it as visual pollution.

“After 5 years of proceedings, a trial and the dismantling of almost all my mosaics in Malaga, I’ve just been acquitted of charges of damaging heritage. It may seem strange that it all started because the bishop didn’t like my flamenco dancer!”

Invader Instagram 18/10/23

This decision sparked a legal dispute that lasted for five years and ended with Invader’s acquittal on criminal damage charges. The case highlights the importance of obtaining proper permissions before carrying out any artistic expression on a protected building. Even though Invader’s intention was creative expression, his unauthorised action was still subject to penalties.

Following the legal battle, the mosaic was removed, and the wall was restored to its original condition. Despite this, the Mayor of Malaga acknowledged the tourism benefits of such mosaics. Unfortunately, most of Malaga’s invasions were removed.

Please share your thoughts in the comments below about whether or not you would like Invader to have another opportunity to replace the removed mosaic pieces in Malaga. Alternatively, do you think it’s game over for Malaga?



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