Arturo Di Modica sculpted “Charging Bull” almost 30 years ago and is now insisting that the new “Fearless Girl” statue is violating his rights.


He claims that the bronze little girl statue is an insult to his work. “She is there attacking the bull,” he said. Fearless Girl was installed by Boston financial firm State Street Global Advisors to send a message about “the power of women in leadership” and a “greater gender diversity on corporate boards.”

Di Modica’s lawyers made sure to mention that the complaint was not about sexism. “None of us here are in any way not proponents of gender equality,” they said before demanded the statue of the little girl be moved elsewhere.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio had the perfect retort on Twitter. “Men who don’t like women taking up space are exactly why we need the Fearless Girl,” he said.

Fearless Girl was a unifying symbol when it went up on International Women’s Day this year. But Di Modica feels the statue undermines the meaning of his Bull, which he defined as “freedom in the world, peace, strength, power and love.” Because of Fearless Girl, says lawyer Norman Siegel, “Charging Bull no longer carries a positive, optimistic message,” as the addition of the girl “has transformed [the Bull] into a negative force and a threat.”

“The Bull represents strength,” says the sculptor. “The strength of America, the strength of the market… What they did, it’s a negative.” Now the message is “I’m here, what are you going to do,” he added.

They then brought more a legal battle forward, saying that the financial firm had improperly commercialized Charging Bull in violation of its copyright. They also claimed that the city violated Di Modica’s rights by allowing permits to build Fearless Girl without his permission. At first the 4-foot statue was only slated to stand there for one week, but because of the massive support it garnered, the statue will be left for another year.

Mayor de Blasio referred to her as a symbol of “standing up to fear, standing up to power, being able to find in yourself the strength to do what’s right… She is inspiring everyone at a moment when we need inspiration.”


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