While much of Manhattan was focused on the anniversary of the July 4th holiday, a controversial statue, staring down the Charging Bull at Wall Street, drew out nearly as much attention, if not more.
The half-woman, half-statue known as “Fearless Girl” (or “Fearless Girl 1.0” to fans and critics) has been in place since February 2016, following the story of a then-7-year-old girl who organized a petition, dubbing the bull a “symbol of war.” The statue was eventually installed at the bull’s feet to represent girls and women’s economic equality and empowerment, prompting a debate about whether feminism was synonymous with attacking a popular symbol of capitalism.
But on Thursday, following an investigation, the New York City Department of Buildings determined that the steel and plywood sculpture, originally commissioned by State Street Global Advisors, posed an safety hazard and had to be removed, so the company could create an entirely new equestrian statue elsewhere in the financial district.
NYC approved temporary Nonconforming Structures license to SCGAP Bala-Krishnan. pic.twitter.com/tkfjoZDGfY — Department of Buildings (@NYCBuilding) July 5, 2018
“It appears the Charging Bull is its own beast in New York City,” department spokesman Joseph Macaluso told New York Magazine. “It kind of defies our temporary law which requires that there be an equestrian statue in its place.”
The decision of whether to install a new equestrian statue on the other side of Wall Street was not immediately made, Macaluso told New York. Meanwhile, lawyers are being retained by SCGAP, the company that commissioned the statue.
“The building department took the time to look at [Fearless Girl],” Macaluso said. “We think the statue speaks for itself.”
See what happened next… pic.twitter.com/G0deQyjrmk — David Murphy (@dougmurphy) July 5, 2018
The sculpture, according to Macaluso, was a “fast little project.”
“It took months to plan,” he said. “It took less than a year to construct. I guess in terms of time period, it’s a pretty normal thing.”
He added that the statue’s departure would not put any concerns of parking and pedestrian safety to rest. “Overall, [the original concept for Fearless Girl] was a great thing for us,” he said. “We were told her installation was an impact on traffic and it was not conducive to [local community boards].”
On Friday morning, both sides will meet to discuss the possibility of a new statue.
Read the full story at New York Magazine.
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