Wall Street's Bull Sculptor Demands Removal of Fearless Girl

The artist said his sculpture, which was installed in 1989, symbolises "freedom, world peace, strength, power and love".

The new figure became an attraction itself and had people signing up in petitions to have the "Fearless Girl" stay in its place permanently. She was met with instant and almost unanimous acclaim, before some critics questioned why a company with just 5 women on their 28-person board was calling for greater gender equality from other Wall Street companies while also advertising one of its funds.

Siegel said his client was never consulted before "Fearless Girl" was installed and said he is drawing up paperwork for a possible legal case against the city.

Speaking to the New York Post in March, "Fearless Girl" artist Kristen Visbal said she sympathized with Di Modica's concerns, "but the world changes and we are now running with this bull". That's a pretty far cry from what Di Modica's work originally represented.

"Fearless Girl", he suggested, could be relocated outside any number of NY firms with poor records on gender equality, or indeed in any other United States city. "Women, girls, that's great, but that's not what that is".

During a press conference yesterday with Di Modica, Siegel insisted, "None of us here are in any way not proponents of gender equality", according to the New York Times. Similarly encouraged by fans, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last month that "Fearless Girl", initially scheduled to be removed on April 2, would remain where she is until 2018.

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. Under cover of night and without permission, he erected a 7,000-pound sculpture of a bronze bull directly outside the New York Stock Exchange as a symbol of American resilience after the stock market crash.

New York City doesn't give out permanent permits for sculptures it doesn't own, which is how Di Modica started out.

Mayor de Blasio responded on Twitter on Wednesday, writing: "Men who don't like women taking up space are exactly why we need the Fearless Girl".

The city eventually moved the piece to a small public park in the Financial District.

A lawsuit has not been filed, said Siegel, who declined to say whether or when that might happen.

  • Zachary Reyes