The Dallas Morning News

Bull sculptor says rights infringed

Bull’s creator says rival statue ruining his artistic vision

- Verena Dobnik, The Associated Press

The sculptor of Wall Street’s Charging Bull statue says New York City is violating his rights by allowing the Fearless Girl statue to be installed facing his creation.

NEW YORK — The sculptor of Wall Street’s Charging Bull statue is accusing New York City of violating his legal rights by allowing the Fearless Girl statue to be installed facing the bronze beast without his permission.

Attorney Norman Siegel told The Associated Press that Arturo Di Modica will explain at a news conference Wednesday exactly how he’s challengin­g city officials who issued a permit for the bronze girl to stay until February. Siegel said he’s demanding that the city release documents showing what procedures were followed.

Artist Kristen Visbal’s figure was placed on a traffic island near Wall Street on March 7, on the eve of Internatio­nal Women’s Day, to make a point: There’s a dearth of women on the boards of the largest U.S. corporatio­ns.

The 4-foot girl staring down the 11foot bull with hands planted on her hips quickly became a tourist magnet, drawing global attention on social media while awakening the imaginatio­ns of visitors who posed for pictures. In response to petitions with tens of thousands of signatures for the statue to stay longer, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city permit was extended for nearly one year.

Di Modica calls the statue an “advertisin­g trick” created by two corporate giants — State Street Global Advisors, a Boston-based investment giant, and McCann, its New York advertisin­g firm.

The Italian-born sculptor says the presence of Fearless Girl infringes on his artistic copyright to the Charging Bull by changing the creative dynamic to include the other bold presence.

A spokeswoma­n for the mayor did not respond to a request for comment.

There was a time when Charging Bull was in a position similar to the Fearless Girl — waiting for the city to allow the piece to stay.

Di Modica had installed the massive bronze in front of the New York Stock Exchange after the 1987 stock market crash, without a permit in the middle of the night, as a symbol of America’s financial resilience. The city eventually responded to the public clamoring for the artwork to be allowed to remain in the Financial District, steps from Wall Street.

The sculptor came to him about 10 days ago, said Siegel, the former director of the New York Civil Liberties Union who is handling the case with attorney Steven Hyman.

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

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 ?? Mark Lennihan/The Associated Press ?? The 4-foot girl, hands planted on her hips and staring down the 11-foot bull, quickly became a tourist magnet, drawing global attention on social media while awakening the imaginatio­ns of visitors who posed for pictures.
Mark Lennihan/The Associated Press The 4-foot girl, hands planted on her hips and staring down the 11-foot bull, quickly became a tourist magnet, drawing global attention on social media while awakening the imaginatio­ns of visitors who posed for pictures.

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