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.
The Italian-born sculptor Arturo Di Modica said the presence of the girl infringed on his own artistic copyright by changing the creative dynamic to include the other bold presence.
Attorney Norman Siegel said Di Modica would explain at a news conference on Wednesday exactly how he’s challenging city officials who issued a permit for the bronze girl to stay until February 2018. Siegel said he was demanding the city release documents showing what procedures were followed.
Artist Kristen Visbal’s figure was first placed on a traffic island near Wall Street on 7 March, on the eve of international women’s day, to make a point: there is a dearth of women on the boards of the largest US corporations.
The young girl staring down the huge bull with hands planted on her hips quickly became a tourist magnet, drawing global attention on social media as visitors posed for pictures. In response to petitions with tens of thousands of signatures for the statue to stay longer, mayor Bill de Blasio announced the city permit would be extended for nearly one year.
Di Modica called the statue an “advertising trick” created by two corporate giants – State Street Global Advisors, the Boston-based investment giant, and McCann, its New York advertising firm.
A spokeswoman for the mayor did not immediately 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.
Siegel, the former director of the New York Civil Liberties Union who is handling the case with attorney Steven Hyman, said the sculptor approached him about 10 days ago.