Should the "Fearless Girl" stand up to Wall Street's charging bull forever? That's the question New York City officials are facing after a statue of a ponytailed girl in a windblown dress went up in front of the bronze bull early this month and immediately became a tourist draw and internet sensation, reports the AP. What was intended as a temporary display to encourage corporations to put more women on their boards is now getting a second look in light of its popularity, which has spawned an online petition seeking to keep it. But does keeping the girl past her scheduled April 2 deadline forever alter the meaning of the bull? After all, the 11-foot-tall, 7,100-pound bull has been hugely popular in its own right; it was placed in a lower Manhattan traffic median in the wake of the 1987 stock market crash as a symbol of Americans' financial resilience and can-do spirit.
Some fans of the bronze girl already see the bull much differently. "The bull represents men and power," says one visitor. "So she is a message of women's power and things that are changing in the world right now." Such shifting perceptions of the bull—from American hero to villain of sorts—outrage bull sculptor Arturo De Modica, who wants the girl gone. He dismissed Kristen Visbal's statue as nothing more than an "an advertising trick." As for his bull, "I put it there for art," the Italian-born sculptor told MarketWatch, which first reported his anger. "My bull is a symbol for America. My bull is a symbol of prosperity and for strength." A spokesman for New York City, which controls public art, did not say when a decision would be made. Mayor Bill de Blasio has said only that he would try to prolong the girl's presence.