The man who sculpted Wall Street's "Charging Bull" is charging the city with violating his legal rights by allowing the nearby "Fearless Girl" statue to stay until next year. NY1's Clodagh McGowan filed the following report.
For five weeks, the "Fearless Girl" has been staring down the "Charging Bull."
Now, the bull’s creator, artist Arturo Di Modica, and his lawyers have begun a staredown of their own, demanding that the Fearless Girl statue be removed.
A tearful Di Modica told reporters Wednesday that "Fearless Girl" tramples his artistic copyright by changing the meaning of his bull.
"It's negative," Di Modica said. "The girl is now here in front like this. I'm here. What are you going to do?"
"Fearless Girl" was created to raise awareness of the lack of women on the boards of American companies. It quickly became a sensation on social media and with tourists. The de Blasio administration then said it will remain in place until next February.
"It just sends a message for women and girls. She's staring down something more powerful than her," said one fan of the statue.
"This little girl just stood up for herself," said another.
"She's just standing for women's rights and making everyone equal," said a third.
On Tuesday, Di Modica's attorneys sent letters to Mayor Bill de Blasio and the companies behind the Fearless Girl, State Street Global Advisors and McCann Advertising, saying they have violated the Visual Artists Rights Act, which gives artists the right to prevent their works from being altered or damaged. The letters demand that Fearless Girl be removed and that Di Modica be paid damages.
"The bull becomes now the negative. The bull is the representation of male denominations. You can't take that out of context without looking at the copyright infringement laws."
Some experts question whether Di Modica’s rights have been violated.
And de Blasio tweeted Wednesday.
Men who don’t like women taking up space are exactly why we need the Fearless Girl. https://t.co/D2OZl4ituJ— Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) April 12, 2017
Di Modica says his bull was intended as a symbol of hope and American resilience after the 1987 Wall Street crash, a message he fears is being diminished nearly 30 years later.