Arturo Di Modica, the sculptor of Wall Street’s famous “Charging Bull” statue is not too happy about the competition from the “Fearless Girl.” He announced this week he will be file a complaint with city officials against the upstart piece, claiming that it infringes on his artistic copyright. And he’s getting help from New York gadfly lawyer Norman Siegel.
According to Siegel, the “Fearless Girl” – installed in March for International Women’s Day – alters the atmosphere around the “Charging Bull,” and there can’t be room for both on Manhattan’s Bowling Green. Siegel told the Guardian he would offer more details at a press conference later this week.
The girl statue has been permitted to stay in its current spot until next year, in response to the overwhelmingly positive reception that it has garnered. “Fearless Girl” was the brainchild of investment bank State Street Global Advisors and McCann marketing agency, which presented her as an emblem of women’s empowerment within the financial sector.
Siegel is the former head of the New York Civil Liberties Union – the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union – and has in the past sued the city’s Jewish schools for not including enough secular education. He has also represented a wide cast of the city’s characters, including the organizers of Midtown Manhattan’s SantaCon and Occupy Wall Street protesters.
It’s worth remembering that “Charging Bull” ran afoul of city authorities in its own time. Di Modica first installed the statue in 1987 – in the middle of the night and without a permit - in order to celebrate Wall Street’s resilience. It became a hit, and was then allowed to stay permanently.
Daniel J. Solomon is the Assistant to the Editor/News Writer at the Forward. Originally from Queens, he attended Harvard as an undergraduate, where he wrote his senior thesis on French-Jewish intellectual history. He is excited to have returned to New York after his time in Massachusetts. Daniel’s passions include folk music, cycling, and pointed argument.