Arturo Di Modica, the sculptor of the iconic Charging Bull statue on Wall Street, is petitioning the two companies that commissioned the popular Fearless Girl statue, which was installed facing his three-and-a-half-ton bronze bovine on March 7 for International Women’s Day, to remove the work, James Barron of the New York Times reports.
Claiming that it violates the Visual Artists Rights Act by illegally commercializing his statue, Di Modica sent a letter to Boston-based State Street Global Advisors, the advertising agency McCann New York, and New York City mayor Bill de Blasio explaining that Charging Bull became wrapped up in an advertising campaign that he did not consent to.
The letter states: “We request that the Fearless Girl statue be removed and placed somewhere else and that damages be awarded to Mr. Di Modica for the violation of his legal, statutory rights.” During a press conference the artist held in Midtown Manhattan on Wednesday, he said that Fearless Girl was an insult to his work, which was meant to be a symbol of “freedom in the world, peace, strength, power, and love” when it was installed after the stock market crashed in the 1980s.
Anne McNally, a spokeswoman for State Street Global, said, “We continue to be grateful to the City of New York and people around the world who have responded so enthusiastically to what the Fearless Girl represents—the power and potential of having more women in leadership.”
While the Fearless Girl statue was only supposed to be installed for one month, de Blasio extended the permit for the work through February 2018. On Wednesday he tweeted: “Men who don’t like women taking up space are exactly why we need the Fearless Girl.”