NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The sculptor behind the famed ‘Charging Bull’ statue in lower Manhattan is pleading with the city to move the ‘Fearless Girl’ placed in front of it last month as a symbol of the fight for gender equality.
Tourists surrounding the little bronze girl snapped pictures, and stared up with her at the big powerful bull. People seemed to love her.
Not Arturo Di Modica.
“Why did they attack me like that,” he said.
Frail and teary eyed, the Italian sculptor said he’s spent more than $300,000 of his own money to bring his vision to life decades ago, as a symbol of strength — not of the patriarchy.
“It’s. I don’t like it. It’s not possible,” he said.
The new girl on the block is facing some tough criticism from Di Modica, the artist whose iconic bronze bull has charged on Wall Street for nearly 30 years with a distinct message.
“The message in the world is peace, strength, power, and love,” he said at a Wednesday press conference. “The girl is right in front of it’s way, ‘Now I’m here, what are you going to do?’.”
Di Modica says the girl has turned his statue into an adversary, instead of the symbol of American resilience he intended it to be.
His attorney asked Mayor de Blasio to relocate ‘Fearless Girl,’ and is seeking damages from the companies that funded the statue for infringing on Di Modica’s trademark.
Norman Siegel argued that ‘Fearless Girl’ — commissioned by a financial services company — is a commercial venture that violates Di Modica’s copyright. As 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reported, Siegel said the firm co-opted the bull to advertise an exchange traded fund called ‘she.’
“The world is about money, but there are people like Arturo I believe and others who it’s not necessarily the sole or motivating factor,” he said.
So far, the city’s only response has come in a tweet from the mayor’s account.
“Men who don’t like women taking up space are exactly why we need the Fearless Girl,” de Blasio tweeted.
People who had come from all over to see the controversial statue weighed in.
“As an artist, you create a piece of art and then when you release it into the world you don’t have full control over it,” New Milford resident Drew Konow told CBS2’s Jessica Moore.
“I think it’s important for young women to think, ‘I can stand up to whatever I want,’,” Madison Milliner from San Francisco said.
Di Modica says he agrees; ‘Fearless Girl’ can stand up to whatever she wants — just not in front of his bull.
“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… Our goal with Fearless Girl was to create a powerful symbol to stand as a reminder to corporations across the globe that having more women in leadership positions contributes to overall performance and strengthens our economy.” Anne McNally, head of public relations North America, for State Street Global Advisors, told 1010 WINS.
Di Modica’s attorney says he will consider a lawsuit if the city doesn’t respond to his request to relocate the statue.