Fri, Apr 14, 2017 - Page 7 News List

Bull sculptor wants ‘Fearless Girl’ removed


People gather near the sculptures Charging Bull, background center, and Fearless Girl, center, in New York City on Wednesday.

Photo: AP

The sculptor of Wall Street’s Charging Bull statue on Wednesday demanded the removal of the Fearless Girl statue that has faced off against the bull since last month.

Arturo Di Modica said his 3.35m-tall bull is supposed to represent “freedom in the world, peace, strength, power and love,” but Fearless Girl has turned his work’s message into something negative.

An attorney for Di Modica, Norman Siegel, said the 1.2m-tall bronze girl was created as part of an advertising campaign for Boston-based investment firm State Street Global Advisors and its placement opposite the bull exploits the earlier sculpture for commercial gain and negates its positive message.

“The placement of the statue of the young girl in opposition to Charging Bull has undermined the integrity and modified the Charging Bull,” Siegel said. “The Charging Bull no longer carries a positive, optimistic message. Rather, it has been transformed into a negative force and a threat.”

Di Modica’s bull has become a familiar icon since he gave it to the city in 1989.

Artist Kristen Visbal’s statue of a girl with her hands on her hips was placed on a traffic island facing the bull on March 7.

The work was embraced by tourists and others as a symbol of female empowerment, although some critics questioned the motives of State Street, which said the statue was intended “to celebrate the power of women in leadership and to urge greater gender diversity on corporate boards.”

Critics said that out of State Street’s 28-person leadership team, only five are women.

Fearless Girl was supposed to be a temporary installation celebrating International Women’s Day, but, given its popularity, city officials said it could stay through February next year.

Siegel, who joined Di Modica and other lawyers at a news conference, said the attorneys sent letters requesting the girl’s removal to New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and the chief executive officers of State Street and its advertising firm, McCann Worldgroup.

“Men who don’t like women taking up space are exactly why we need the Fearless Girl,” De Blasio said on Twitter.

State Street spokeswoman Anne McNally said the firm is reviewing the letter.

McCann spokesman Jeremy Miller said: “We are proud of Fearless Girl and all she stands for in support of women and girls everywhere.”

Siegel said he hopes the dispute can be resolved amicably, but added: “We never dismiss the possibility of litigation.”

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