RENO, Nev. — Two San Francisco artists plan to appeal a jury verdict that found a Nevada farmer wasn't liable for torching a replica of a Spanish galleon that was abandoned for years after a Burning Man Festival.
Artist Simon Cheffins and mechanical engineer Gregory Jones are unhappy with the jury's decision in federal court in Reno last week. They plan to take the case to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, their attorney told the Reno Gazette-Journal (http://on.rgj.com/TvHB9Z .)
The pair sought damages from a 57-year-old Reno rancher, Michael Stewart, whose lawyers say he was simply clearing land he acquired when he burned the ship in 2006 after its display in several Burning Man festivals.
The artwork was built around a school bus with what the rancher says was a broken axle. The artists insist they never meant to abandon it.
The jury decided the artists had abandoned their work, but their lawyer insisted the replica galleon was a type of art protected by the U.S. Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990, regardless of its location on private land.