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Cherubs must go, says appeals court

Judges uphold a homeowners association decision that a terra cotta frieze must be removed from a house wall.

A replica of a Michelangelo plaque depicting cherubs pouring water into a pail must be removed from the side of a couple's suburban home, the 4th District Court of Appeal has ruled.

Sol and Renee Silberman were sued by the Lakeridge Greens Homeowners Association after refusing to take down the 25- by 45-inch terra cotta frieze when their application to hang the plaque was denied.

The association called the frieze of frolicking angels too large and too colorful for the community's taste.

Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Moses Baker Jr. ruled against the association, saying the couple was being targeted and the rules were ambiguous.

But the appellate court overturned Baker in a ruling released Wednesday, saying the community's regulations were broad enough that the Silbermans should have known they had to have approval to hang the frieze.

Harold Kimmet, vice president of the homeowners association, praised the appellate ruling, saying it ensured that "people can't run amok" with their decor.

Sol Silberman said he is disappointed. "Everybody else has stuff up on their walls. They got plaques and urns, everything," Silberman said.

The Silbermans' son, Philadelphia lawyer Michael Silberman, plans to ask the appellate court for a rehearing.

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