'Charging Bull' sculptor is not a fan of 'Fearless Girl'

Faith Castro
April 20, 2017

On International Women's Day last month, a sculpture of a Fearless Girl was installed in front of New York City's iconic Charging Bull on Wall Street.

Di Modica claims that the girl is an "advertising trick" propagated by NY ad firm McCann and Boston-based investment firm State Street Global Advisors, two huge corporate entities.

It was originally created to be a temporary addition to Wall Street but last month New York Mayor Bill de Blasio revealed it would remain a fixture until after International Women's Day 2018. Di Modica first installed "Charging Bull" on Wall Street in 1987, as a symbol of New York's resilience in the face of the late-'80s financial collapse.

Di Modica is expected to explain this accusation in a news conference on Wednesday, his attorney Norman Siegel claimed. But, because of the Fearless Girl statue placed in front of the Bull, his artwork's meaning and context have changed.

State Street is also the creator of the Gender Diversity Index SHE, which tracks gender diversity in companies. "Rather, it has been transformed into a negative force and a threat".

But de Blasio has said on twitter that the Fearless Girl "is staying put".

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Di Modica's lawyers made sure to mention that the complaint was not about sexism. Di Modica is also demanding officials release documents showing what protocol they followed when extending the statue's display to February 2018.

Siegel urged the NY mayor and those who commissioned the Girl to come together to find an amicable solution, warning that without talks he would face "the hard decision" of whether to litigate. Siegel called it copyright infringement and said the artist is considering a lawsuit.

The IWD statue was originally meant to be in removed on 2 April but the city extended its residency due to the amount of interest it got on social media - including two petitions to keep it in place. However, since the "Fearless Girl" statue was installed facing his own piece, but in no way touches it or alters it directly, it doesn't look like Di Modica has as much ground to stand on as the "Fearless Girl" herself.

"It's really bad", a frail Arturo Di Modica, 76, told reporters, his voice thick with emotion and barely audible.

He's not entirely wrong, but it's somewhat ironic that Di Modica has a problem with the statue being placed there without going through the proper channels. The Italian immigrant intended the work to bolster American traders' spirits after the stock crash of a few years before - though the NYSE, it must be said, was not pleased with its holiday gift, hefting away the bull by the end of the day.

Visbal did not immediately respond to NBC News' request for comment on Wednesday.

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