“Speaking at a Manhattan news conference, Arturo Di Modica said he placed the “Charging Bull” statue in front of the New York Stock Exchange in 1987 as a symbol of America’s resilience following the stock market crash that year. The city later relocated the sculpture to a small public park area nearby.
“The bull represents strength,” said Di Modica. “The strength of America, the strength of the market.”
The iconic statue over the years has become one of the city’s most popular tourist attraction. But on the eve of International Women’s Day, State Street Global Advisors placed the new a statue of a little girl, hands defiantly on hips, in front of the bull.
The new sculpture virtually overnight became a representation of a lack of gender diversity and equality on Wall Street and in other U.S. workplaces. The investment firm said it commissioned the artwork as a part of its call on behalf of the more than 3,500 companies that benefit from its clients’ investments to make sure their governing boards are diverse.
Created by artist Kristen Visbal, “Fearless Girl” gained widespread attention as tourists flocked to the site to take pictures with the statue.
Many hailed the announcement. But Di Modica was far from pleased. He said “Fearless Girl” was part of an advertising campaign that altered the artistic message behind “Charging Bull” without his permission.
“What they did, it’s a negative,” Di Modica said of the new message conveyed by “Fearless Girl.” Now, the message is “I’m here, what are you going to do,” he said.
Attorney Norman Siegel told the Associated Press that Italian-born sculptor Arturo Di Modica plans to explain his plans to challenge city officials who allowed the “Fearless Girl” statue to be installed without his permission during a Wednesday press conference.