‘Fearless Girl’ set to take on Stock Exchange

Left in “Fearless Girl” ’s former place on Bowling Green is a plaque with two small footprints telling people they can “stand for her” and what she represents. Photo by Colin Mixson

BY COLIN MIXSON | The Financial District’s beloved “Fearless Girl” statue was uprooted from her post at Bowling Green Tuesday night in preparation for her eventual move to outside the New York Stock Exchange later this year.

The pint-sized bronze icon, which was installed during the 2017 Women’s March, staring down the park’s other famous statue, “Charging Bull,” was replaced by a plaque featuring two shoeprints. The plaque also bears an inscription reading, “Fearless Girl is on the move to the New York Stock Exchange. Until she’s there, stand for her.”

The “Fearless Girl” statue was at Bowling Green, above, but has been removed and will be relocated to the New York Stock Exchange.

Her sudden disappearance follows Mayor Bill de Blasio’s promise earlier this year to move “Fearless Girl” — and “Charging Bull” — in response to safety concerns that lower Broadway’s heavy traffic posed to the statue’s hoards of selfie-seeking fans, who clustered precariously on the narrow cobblestone plaza where she was formerly located.

In addition to gaining notoriety as a feminist icon, “Fearless Girl” can also be seen as a wildly successful marketing stunt by advertising firm McCann New York on behalf of multibillion-dollar investment firm State Street Global Advisors. State Street commissioned the statue from sculptor Kristen Visbal to advertise its SHE index fund, which features a slew of gender-diverse companies.

Within the first 12 hours of its installation, “Fearless Girl” generated more than 1 billion Twitter impressions, and earned more than $7 million worth of free marketing for State Street within the first 51 days, according to an analysis by Apex marketing Group.

But the girl statue had one notable detractor in the form of “Charging Bull” sculptor Arturo Di Modica. The artist filed suit against State Street in April last year claiming “Fearless Girl” was derivative of his work, and demanded damages for violating his legal rights.

“The statue of the young girl becomes the ‘Fearless Girl’ only because of the ‘Charging Bull,’” read a letter Di Modica’s legal team sent to State Street. “The work is incomplete without Mr. Di Modica’s ‘Charging Bull,’ and as such it constitutes a derivative work of the ‘Charging Bull.’”

The mayor’s press office did not immediately reply to messages left asking if “Charging Bull” would be moved, and when.

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