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'Charging Bull' Sculptor to 'Fearless Girl': Go Somewhere Else

20 April 2017, 10:04 | Anna Nguyen

'Charging Bull' Sculptor to 'Fearless Girl': Go Somewhere Else

'Charging Bull' Sculptor to 'Fearless Girl': Go Somewhere Else

Standing in defiance of the Wall Street mainstay "Charging Bull", "Fearless Girl" was the subject of a heated news conference recently, during which "Charging Bull' sculptor Arturo Di Modica let his opinion of the little-bronze-girl-who-could be known".

State Street Global Advisors, the world's third-largest asset manager, installed the statue on Tuesday morning as part of a campaign to pressure companies to add more women to their boards.

On the eve of International Women's Day, Kristen Visbal's sculpture was placed on a traffic island near Wall Street to make a point, which is that there's a shortage of women on the boards of the largest US corporations. He says the bull's message is supposed to be "freedom in the world, peace, strength, power and love".

For decades, Di Modica's bull stood alone just blocks from Wall Street, drawing thousands of visitors annually who came to marvel at the bronze statue and take selfies. Artist Arturo Di Modica has expressed his anger at "Fearless Girl"'s placement, calling it an advertising gimmick that changes the context of his original work.

"The statue of the young girl becomes the "Fearless Girl" only because of the Charging Bull: the work is incomplete without Mr. Di Modica's Charging Bull, and as such it constitutes a derivative work of the Charging Bull", the letter states.

It was originally created to be a temporary addition to Wall Street but last month New York Mayor Bill de Blasio revealed it would remain a fixture until after International Women's Day 2018. He installed the bull in front of the New York Stock Exchange in 1989 to highlight America's financial resistance following the 1987 stock market crash.

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Di Modica's lawyer, Steven J. Hyman of McLaughlin & Stern LLP, told Bloomberg BNA said that he hopes that the dispute can be settled without his having to file a lawsuit.

The Italian artist has also argued that Fearless Girl statue is not a legitimate work of art, but rather an "advertising trick" as it was sponsored by investment firm State Street Global Advisers, and installed by advertising firm McCann. The city government later allowed it to be moved to nearby Bowling Green Park, where it stands now.

It's a battle of two sculptures, and two ideals: "Charging Bull", a 7,100-pound symbol of brash financial optimism, and "Fearless Girl", a four-foot emblem of female empowerment. "The girl is like - 'I am here, what are you gonna do?"

Di Modica claims that the girl is an "advertising trick" propagated by NY ad firm McCann and Boston-based investment firm State Street Global Advisors, two huge corporate entities.

Twenty-five percent of the largest 3,000 USA companies have no female directors, State Street noted at the time.



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