WILL N.Y. INVITE THE FEARLESS GIRL TO STAY ON WALL ST.?
new york» Should the Fearless Girl stand up to Wall Street’s Charging Bull forever?
That’s the question New York City officials are facing after a statue of a ponytailed girl in a windblown dress went up in front of the bronze bull early this month and immediately became a tourist draw and internet sensation.
What was intended as a temporary display to encourage corporations to put more women on their boards is now getting a second look in light of its popularity, which has spawned an online petition seeking to keep it.
But does keeping the girl past her scheduled April 2 deadline forever alter the meaning of the bull? After all, the 11-foot-tall, 7,100-pound bull has been hugely popular in its own right; it was placed in a lower Manhattan traffic median in the wake of the 1987 stock market crash as a symbol of Americans’ financial resilience and can-do spirit.
Some fans of the bronze girl already see the bull much differently.
“The bull represents men and power,” says Cristina Pogorevici, 18, a student from Bucharest, Romania, who visited the statues this past week. “So she is a message of women’s power and things that are changing in the world right now.”
Holli Sargeant, 20, a visitor from Queensland, Australia, says the 4-foot-tall, 250-pound bronze girl “is standing up against something, and we see her as powerful image. She represents all the young women in the world that want to make a difference.”
Such shifting perceptions of the bull — from American hero to villain of sorts — outrage bull sculptor Arturo De Modica, who wants the girl gone.
He dismissed Kristen Visbal’s statue as nothing more than “an advertising trick,” noting the bronze was a marketing effort on the eve of the March 8 International Women’s Day by Boston-based State Street Global Advisors and its New York advertising firm, McCann.
As for his bull, “I put it there for art,” the Italian-born sculptor told MarketWatch, which first reported his anger. “My bull is a symbol for America. My bull is a symbol of prosperity and for strength.”
The girl’s sculptor has no hostile feelings toward the bull.
“I love Charging Bull!” Visbal told The Associated Press on Sunday, speaking from her home in Rehoboth Beach, Del. “But women are here, and we’re here to stay.” BBB
The Charging Bull and Fearless Girl statues face each other on Lower Broadway in New York.