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Fearless Girl Statue Moves to New York Stock Exchange

New York’s Fearless Girl—the fifty-inch-tall bronze girl who, arms akimbo, has stared down Arturo Di Modica’s Charging Bull sculpture for a little over a year—will soon be permanently relocated to stand outside the New York Stock Exchange, the original location of her bovine rival. Mayor Bill de Blasio and State Street Global Advisors (SSGA), the financial firm that installed the statue, had been in talks to find the sculptures new homes since February, though the bull is, as of now, to remain at the Bowling Green location in the financial district.

Fearless Girl, designed by Kristen Visbal, was met with viral acclaim when it was unveiled last March, on the eve of International Women’s Day. Many, like the mayor, hailed the statue as a symbol of female empowerment. But it also drew controversy, seen by some as nothing but a hypocritical marketing ploy by SSGA, whose parent company, State Street Corp., paid $5 million in fines for allegedly underpaying female and minority workers from 2010 to 2011. While Fearless Girl was initially intended as a weeklong presentation, the statue’s stay was extended through 2018 due to its overwhelming admiration. The sculpture is partly being moved so that it will be more accessible to pedestrians.  

Di Modica, who installed Charging Bull in 1989 following the stock market crash, is likely relieved; the artist denounced the statue after it was revealed and sent a letter to the mayor and SSGA claiming that the statue violated the Visual Artists Rights Act by illegally commercializing his three-and-a-half-ton sculpture. Yet the showdown may not be finished; the mayor’s press release also noted that the city was “looking at a similar move to the vicinity of the stock exchange for the Charging Bull statue.”