'Charging Bull' sculptor says 'Fearless Girl' installed without permission

Kemberly Richardson Image
Thursday, April 13, 2017
'Charging Bull' sculptor demands removal of 'Fearless Girl'
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Kemberly Richardson has the story.

NEW YORK -- 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.

Arturo Di Modica is challenging city officials who are allowing the bronze girl to stay until February. Attorney Norman Siegel says he already demanded the city release documents showing what procedures were followed.

Di Modica calls the statue an "advertising trick" created by two corporate giants. He says the presence of "Fearless Girl" infringes on his own copyrighted artistic expression while drawing global attention.

Lawyers for Di Modica say placing the statue of the girl in front of the bull creates a copyright and trademark dilemma and is a thinly veiled advertising campaign.

At a news conference Wednesday, Di Modica talked about what the bull stands for and what effect the new sculpture has had on it.

"The message is for freedom in the world, peace, strength, power and love. It's a negative, now the girl is right in front saying, now I'm here, what are you gonna do?", he said.

His attorneys say they hope to resolve the issue without going to court, saying they want the sculpture moved.

The Italian-born sculptor created the bull after the 1987 stock market crash as a symbol of America's financial resilience.

Arturo says the placement of Fearless Girl exploits the animal, undermining its integrity.

"Arturo has his own message in that bull of optimism and achievement, that was what it was for and they have turned it into something else for their own purposes," said attorney Steven Hyman.

'They' is State Street Global Advisors, the investment company which worked with the city to get the permit for the art.

Arturo has no issues with what the girl stands for, gender equality, but says this is a case of free advertising.

A plaque once sat by her feet naming the company and one of its funds. They've taken it down.

Mayor Bill de Blasio responded to Di Modica's statement:

Photos: 'Fearless Girl' statue installed near 'Charging Bull'

A statue titled "Fearless Girl" faces the Wall Street bull, Wednesday, March 8, 2017, in New York.
AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)