Kristen Visbal, Fearless Girl, 2017. Photo: Mark Lennihan.

New York City to Become Permanent Home of Fearless Girl Statue

According to Adweek, discussions on how to preserve the Fearless Girl statue and her rival, Charging Bull, are being held between the mayor’s office and State Street Global Advisors (SSGA), the financial firm that installed the female counterpart to Arturo di Modica’s iconic bronze bull last March, right before International Women’s Day. The parties are deliberating whether the sculptures will remain in their current location, which might be redesigned. The present site, in New York City’s Financial District, has become a tourist destination that poses traffic and safety concerns, and officials are considering moving the stare-down to a spot more accessible to pedestrians.  

“The message of the Fearless Girl statue has resonated with New Yorkers and visitors alike,” a spokesperson for Mayor Bill de Blasio told Adweek. “Its enthusiastic reception has been heartening, and we are discussing various approaches to ensure this statue continues to be a part of the city’s civic life.”

Modica has tried to get Fearless Girl removed ever since its guerilla installation, claiming that it violates the Visual Artists Rights Act by illegally commercializing his work. Last spring, the artist sent a letter to de Blasio and SSGA requesting the statue be taken down and that he be awarded damages. Both Fearless Girl and Charging Bull were installed illegally, the latter in 1989 following the stock market crash.

Fearless Girl is estimated to have given SSGA more than $7 million in free marketing after just six months, and the company asserts that seventy-six of the 476 companies it invests in had actively strived to promote women. The company’s emphasis on diverse leadership led to a controversy last year when SSGA’s parent company, State Street Corp., agreed to pay $5 million in fines for allegedly underpaying female and minority employees from 2010 to 2011.