Ad firm proud of 'Fearless Girl' statue


Italian sculptor Arturo Di Modica, creator of Wall Street's "Charging Bull", is reproaching the famous "Fearless Girl" statue installed in front of the bull without his permission.

Di Modica says the statue is an "advertising trick" created by State Street Global Advisors, the Boston-based investment giant, and McCann, its NY advertising firm. It was meant to illustrate New York's resilience in the face of the 1987 stock market crash. Taken as a sign of hope that the U.S. would bounce back from the economic downturn, public support for the sculpture prompted the city to allow it to stay in the Financial District.

However, the sculptor behind the bull is hearing a vastly different message. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio even threw his full support behind the statue, and promises it will stay put for the foreseeable future.

Twitter, naturally, took note, with many social media users observing the irony of an established male protesting the symbolic presence of a statue that represents girl power. In an interview with The New York Post, she said Di Modica was an "exceptional" artist.

Siegel called for damages for the "violation" of Di Modica's statutory rights, urging the mayor and company chief executives to come together to find an amicable solution.

"Fearless Girl" statue was commissioned by State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) and created by artist Kristen Visbal.

Di Modica, 76, told reporters Wednesday that the girl changes the positive message of the bull sculpture, which is "a better America and a better world".

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Still, whatever problems Fearless Girl has with feminism, the optics of a man fighting to tear a statue of a small girl standing opposite an angry bull aren't great.

Critics noted that only five members of State Street's 28-person leadership team are women. Clearly, Fearless Girl has a lot more bull coming her way.

"Very simply we request respectfully that the "Fearless Girl" statue be removed", lawyer Norman Siegel told a news conference. Arturo says he wants to settle this amicably, but we smell lawsuit.

State Street spokeswoman Anne McNally said the firm is reviewing the letter.

But Di Modica has said he sees something insulting to the integrity of his artwork, saying "Fearless Girl" is not a symbol as much as a marketing ploy organized by State Street's advertising partner McCann.

But Di Modica's lawyers said the firm was using public property for free commercial advertising and questioned whether the city should have granted the permit.