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‘Charging Bull’ Sculptor Fights Back against ‘Fearless Girl’


FILE - Wall Street ‘Charging Bull’ sculptor wants the ‘Fearless Girl’ statue removed.

This is What’s Trending Today.

Arturo Di Modica is an Italian-American artist. In 1989, he created a bronze sculpture known as “Charging Bull.” That year, just before Christmas, he placed it in front of the New York Stock Exchange in the middle of the night. He did not have permission to do so.

New York City Police removed the bull. But many people protested its removal. City officials eventually permitted it to remain in a nearby area. It has been there ever since.

The huge bull sculpture looks as though it is running forward, ready to fight an unknown opponent. Di Modica said he decided to make the sculpture after the stock market lost over 20 percent of its value in one day in 1987. He said his bull statue showed the “strength and power of the American people.”

The bull has become a popular tourist attraction in New York City.

Then, last month, the bull statue got some unexpected company. An investment group in New York City celebrated International Women’s Day by putting up another statue -- right in front of the bull. It is called “The Fearless Girl.”

The group State Street Global Advisors put up the statue. It stands less than 1.3 meters tall. The small girl is standing in a defiant way, with her hands on her hips.

Anne McNally is with the investment group. She told the Reuters news agency that “The Fearless Girl” is meant to bring attention to the small number of women in high positions on Wall Street. It is also meant to remind people of the lower wages that women working in finance receive. The group wants that to change, she says.

The statue has gotten a lot of attention. New York City officials have decided to permit the statue to remain in place for a year.

But Di Modica is not happy with that decision. He says the statue of the girl changes the meaning of his work. He also says it has violated his legal rights.

Norman Siegel is Di Modica’s lawyer. He said his client wants the “Fearless Girl” statue moved. He said Di Modica also wants to be awarded financial damages.

Siegel said the investment company should have talked with Di Modica before placing the statue of the girl in front of the bull.

And he accused State Street Global Advisors of putting up the sculpture as a way to promote their investment services, whereas Di Modica’s sculpture had no commercial purpose.

Many people are using social media to express their opinions about the situation. Some say Di Modica is complaining for no good reason.

But others agree that “The Fearless Girl” statue has changed the original meaning of the “Charging Bull” statue. One person said the situation is like “letting someone add a different chorus to a song.”

A writer for Slate.com supports Di Modica. Christina Cauterucci writes that the girl “derives its meaning from its interaction with Di Modica’s piece.” Di Modica, however, “meant his bull to stand alone.”

Bill de Blasio is New York City’s mayor. He tweeted about the situation twice on Wednesday. He wrote: “Men who don’t like women taking up space are exactly why we need Fearless Girl,” and “We wouldn’t move the Charging Bull statue if it offended someone. The Fearless Girl is staying put.”

And that’s What’s Trending Today.

I’m Dan Friedell.

Dan Friedell adapted this story for Learning English based on a story from the Associated Press. Ashley Thompson was the editor.

What do you think of the debate about the statues? We want to know. Write to us in the Comments Section or on our Facebook page.

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Words in This Story

sculpturen. a piece of art that is made by carving or molding clay, stone, metal, etc.

chargev. to rush toward

damages n. an amount of money that a court requires you to pay to someone you have treated unfairly or hurt in some way

intent – n. the thing that you plan to do or achieve : an aim or purpose

chorus – n. a part of a song that is repeated between verses

derive – v. to take or get (something) from (something else)

defiant – adj. refusing to obey something or someone : full of defiance

commercial – adj. concerned with earning money

original – adj. happening or existing first or at the beginning

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