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Wall Street’s Charging Bull statue left with hole in horn after ‘man attacks it with banjo’

Tevon Darlack has since been arrested on charges including criminal mischief and criminal possession of weapon

Vincent Wood
Sunday 08 September 2019 15:53 BST
Since its installation the statue has been seen by some a physical embodiment of American capitalism and financial power
Since its installation the statue has been seen by some a physical embodiment of American capitalism and financial power (Reuters)

A man has been arrested after allegedly breaking a hole through the horn of Wall Street’s iconic Charging Bull statue in New York with what appeared to be a banjo.

The incident left the statue with dents along its horn and a tear through the bronze work of the Arturo Di Modica’s statue, which he crafted for the New York financial street in 1989.

Images from the scene show a man raising a metal object – which witnesses have described as a solid metal banjo – above the 7,100lb statue in broad daylight as bystanders look on.

Tevon Varlack, 42, from Dallas, Texas, has since been arrested on charges of criminal mischief, disorderly conduct and criminal possession of a weapon.

It is not clear what the motive behind the incident may have been.

The statue was designed by the artist to celebrate the bullish spirit of the American dream after having arrived in the country penniless in 1970. When he installed the piece as a piece of guerrilla art in the dead of night on 15 December 1989, he left it beneath a Christmas tree on the street and described it as his “gift” to the country.

But it has since been seen by some as a physical embodiment of American capitalism and financial power, with similar statues installed by the artist in Shanghai and outside Amsterdam’s stock exchange.

In 2011 the symbol was used by members of the Occupy wall-street movement to symbolise corporate greed in 2011.

The piece has also drawn the attention of disruptive artists. In 2017 blue paint was dumped on the statue as part of an art project designed to support the Paris Climate agreement.

And earlier that year a second statue, called Fearless Girl, was installed by artist Kristen Visbal to defiantly stare back at the bull and embody female leadership in business. At the time Di Modica dubbed the Fearless Girl an “advertising trick” and the statue was moved the following year.

Additional reporting by AP

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