The sculptor of Wall Street's "Charging Bull" statue is accusing New York City of violating his legal rights by allowing the "Fearless Girl" statue to be installed facing the bronze beast without his permission. Attorney Norman Siegel tells the AP that Arturo Di Modica will explain at a news conference Wednesday exactly how he's challenging city officials who issued a permit for the bronze girl to stay until February. Siegel says he's demanding the city release documents showing what procedures were followed. Artist Kristen Visbal's figure was first placed on a traffic island near Wall Street on March 7, on the eve of International Women's Day, to make a point: There's a dearth of women on the boards of the largest US corporations.
The 4-foot girl with hands planted on her hips, staring down the 11-foot bull, quickly became a tourist magnet, drawing global attention on social media. In response to petitions with tens of thousands of signatures for the statue to stay longer, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city permit was extended for nearly one year. But Di Modica calls the statue an "advertising trick" created by two corporate giants—Boston-based investment giant State Street Global Advisors, as well as McCann, its New York advertising firm—and says the presence of "Fearless Girl" infringes on his own artistic copyright to the "Charging Bull" by changing the creative dynamic to include the other bold presence. A lawsuit hasn't been filed, says Siegel, who declined to say whether or when that might happen. A spokeswoman for the mayor didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.