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'Fearless Girl' Statue Will Face Down Stock Exchange, Not 'Charging Bull'

The <em>Fearless Girl</em> statue stands facing <em>Charging Bull</em> as tourists take pictures in New York on April 12, 2017.
Jewel Samad
AFP/Getty Images
The Fearless Girl statue stands facing Charging Bull as tourists take pictures in New York on April 12, 2017.

The Fearless Girl statue, which has stared down the Manhattan financial district's famous Charging Bullfor more than a year, will be relocating to a spot in front of the New York Stock Exchange.

The statue was installed near Wall Street in 2017 in honor of International Women's Day, and only had a temporary permit. But now it will remain in New York City permanently, at the new location just around the corner.

The move is expected to be completed by the end of 2018, according to a statement from New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and State Street Global Advisors, the financial services company that commissioned the statue.

"We are proud to be home to the Fearless Girl. She is a potent symbol of the need for change at the highest levels of corporate America—and she will become a durable part of our city's civic life," de Blasio said in the statement.

The statue by Kristen Visbal was originally installed to draw attention to the need for more female representation on the boards of publicly traded companies. But State Street, the firm that installed the statue, made headlines later in 2017 after an investigation found that the firm had underpaid women and black executives.

State Street paid $5 million in a settlement with the Department of Labor, while saying it "disagreed with" the investigation's findings.

That's not the only controversy Fearless Girlhas weathered. (And we're not just talking about the cheeky dog statue that was briefly placed as though it were urinating on the girl.)

Some critics, as NPR's Rose Friedman has reported, objected to the idea of depicting American womanhood in the form of a young girl — seeing it as patronizing, rather than progressive.

And the sculptor of Charging Bullwas affronted by the addition of the new statue, saying it changed the meaning of his original — making the bull not a symbol of strength, but an ominous villain. He also called the statue an "advertising trick."

Arturo Di Modica installed his Charging Bullsculpture in the financial district in the late 1980s, putting the large statue in place overnight, without a permit.

The bull is now located in Bowling Green Park on Broadway, where the Fearless Girlis currently facing him down.

But that wasn't the bull's first stomping ground. It was first placed on Broad Street, in front of the New York Stock Exchange, which promptly had the statue removed.

As it happens, that's the spot where the Fearless Girlis headed next.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Camila Flamiano Domonoske covers cars, energy and the future of mobility for NPR's Business Desk.
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