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Wall Street’s ‘Charging Bull’ sculptor accuses New York of violating his artistic copyright over ‘Fearless Girl’ statue

Arturo Di Modica claims the small bronze fitted in honour of International Women's Day as an 'advertising trick'

Chloe Farand
Wednesday 12 April 2017 16:55 BST
The Fearless Girl statue faces down the Charging Bull
The Fearless Girl statue faces down the Charging Bull (Getty Images)

The sculptor of Wall Street's ‘Charging Bull’ statue is accusing New York City of violating his legal rights by allowing the ‘Fearless Girl’, a smaller bronze statue, to have been installed staring down the bronze beast, without his permission.

Arturo Di Modica, who designed the iconic bull, is challenging city officials, who issued a permit for the small “guerilla art” statue to remain there until February 2018.

The ‘Fearless Girl’, designed by Kristen Visbal, was fitted by State Street Global Advisors in honour of International Women’s Day as a plea for US financial firms to employ more women at senior levels.

But Mr Di Modica called the statue an "advertising trick" created by two corporate giants, State Street Global Advisors, a Boston-based investment company and its New York advertising firm McCann.

The sculptor said the ‘Fearless Girl’ statue infringes on his own artistic copyright by changing the creative dynamic through the little girl’s bold presence.

His attorney Norman Siegel, is expected to explain at a news conference on Wednesday the grounds on which the sculptor hopes to bring the challenge - but a lawsuit has not yet been filed.

He said his client was demanding New York City release documents showing what procedures were followed for authorising the statue to stay longer than the initial 30 days.

The statue of the school-aged girl with her hands on her hips became a fast favourite with tourists.

Several petitions were launched in the hope of making the statute permanent, which quickly ramped up with tens thousands of signatures.

In response to the campaign, mayor Bill de Blasio announced the statue had been granted permission to stay for nearly a year. The mayor’s office has not yet responded to a request for comment.

Mr Di Modica also installed his ‘Charging Bull’ statue overnight in front of the New York Stock Exchange, without a permit, in homage to America’s strong reaction to the 1987 stock market crash.

Popular support for the artwork allowed it to remain in the financial district.

Additional reporting by Associated Press.

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