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Savannah artist’s work dumped by city cops

Published: 
Friday, April 21, 2017
Artist Damian Agostini, left, is moved to tears as he recounts how his artwork were seized and destroyed by the Port-of-Spain City Corporation during an interview with CNC 3's Jesse Ramdeo at the Queen's Park Savannah yesterday.

Artist Damian Agostini was brought to tears last week when he showed up at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, to find his artwork gone.

Agostini, who makes art décor and furniture with mostly wood, said he when he arrived at the site where he has his work on display, he was surprised that all his art pieces had disappeared.

In a brief interview yesterday with CNC3 yesterday, Agostini said he was an artist who wanted to “share his gift” with others.

“If I see a pile of wood I would put together what I saw in it. Last week I received the shock of my life when I didn’t see anything. It seemed like time stood still. I saw nothing, I didn’t see a note, nobody. I just walked across the street to get a different perspective,” he said.

However, Agostini said he was subsequently told by several eyewitnesses that the art pieces and furniture were moved by the City Police.

“I made a call and I heard they dumped it. It really broke my heart. I put everything in that, I even have blisters on my hand. It ripped me apart,” he said.

He said the cost of the goods was approximately $20,000.

“What concerns me is the customers who paid for it. I contacted my lawyer,” he said.

Agostini said the sales enabled him to pay his rent and buy food. However, he said he was told that he had broken the law when he contacted members of the Port-of-Spain City Corporation.

“I would move the stuff, they didn’t give me a chance. I was able to go, I really felt like giving up. I didn’t know I was doing anything wrong,” he said.

He said the pieces were bought by ministers, doctors, lawyers and other members of the public.

When contacted on the issue, Port-of-Spain Mayor Joel Martinez apologised and said he did not know how the issue was “dealt with.”

However, he added: “He (Agostini) puts his shop on a corner where there is traffic passing on a constant basis and he got started on the wrong foot. However, the police may have been on patrol and decided it was an eyesore or hindrance and if somebody could find themselves in an accident. He should have known better from the start before he did it.”

He added: “It’s obvious I feel for the gentleman, but at the same time we told vendors they can’t vend and they know they are not supposed to be there.”

Martinez said the corporation tries to uphold law and order and reduce crime.