NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – An iconic New York City sculpture near Wall Street is getting much needed repairs.
The Charging Bull was damaged last month when a tourist from Texas smashed a metal banjo over its head.
The repair work is being supervised by the artist who created it.
The bad news is the area around the bull is closed, so no selfies with the symbol. The good news is repairs are moving quickly here.
According to the artist himself, the bull may be ready for its closeup by the time the markets close.
“It’s my bull. I put it down here 30 years ago. This year is going to be 30 years,” artist Arturo Di Modica told CBS2’s Tara Jakeway.
He flew in from Sicily after authorities arrested a Texas man for bashing the bull with a banjo, leaving a six inch gash in the bronze.
“I was in Italy when they called me and told me they were damaging the bull, and I was really upset,” Di Modica said.
Between 1987 and 1989, di Modica worked day and night and used $300,000 of his own money to create the statue, after the stock market crashed. He wants to know why someone would deface a symbol of hope rising from desparation.
“The bull belongs to everybody, even to him. The bull is America for everybody,” Di Modica said.
The statue holds a special place in the hearts of New Yorkers.
“I get a little excited if I come in the morning and the tourists haven’t hit it yet. I’ll come over and it just gives me a little boost for the day, boost of confidence,” said Jersey City resident Matt Sussman. “It was happy to see, that’s why I came over. It’s nice to see them fixing a New York institution.”
That’s thanks to the work of the upstate firm UAP Polich Tallix.
“Essentially, it’s body work. We’re going to get out the damaged part and repair it, then put it back together,” said Peter Ross of UAP Polich Talix.
The repairs are estimated to cost upwards of $15,000. But getting the bull back, Di Modica says, is priceless. He says the bull will be completely better.
On top of the repair, they’re refurbishing the whole thing, fixing the patina, so the bull will look better than ever, rain or shine.
Tevon Varlack, the man accused of damaging the bull, has been charged with criminal mischief and disorderly conduct. He faces up to a year in prison.