New York’s ‘Fearless Girl’ statue is moving to stock exchange

Officials say the "Fearless Girl" (front) statue will be moved to outside the New York Stock Exchange, and are considering a similar move for the "Charging Bull" statue

New York (AFP) – The popular “Fearless Girl” statue, which has been staring down Wall Street’s “Charging Bull” since last year, will soon move to face the New York Stock Exchange, the city’s mayor said Thursday.

The bronze statue by artist Kristen Visbal — seen by many as a defiant symbol of women’s rights under President Donald Trump’s administration — appeared on the eve of International Women’s Day in March 2017.

The statue was installed by State Street Global Advisors asset managers and marked the start of the firm’s campaign to encourage companies it invests in to increase the number of women on their boards of directors.

The “Fearless Girl” statue was supposed to be up for only a week, but became a tourist magnet and the temporary permit was extended to one month, and eventually one year.

Moving the statue to the pedestrian-friendly area outside the NYSE “will improve access for visitors and ensure that her message and impact continues to be heard,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement.

The new site “will also alleviate safety issues arising from the large numbers of pedestrians and visitors drawn to the statue, which has been located on a narrow median on Broadway,” a statement from the mayor’s office read.

The move will be complete by the end of 2018, the statement read.

“We eagerly await the arrival of ‘Fearless Girl’ to her fitting new home, standing her ground and training her unblinking eyes on our engine of progress and free enterprise,” said NYSE President Thomas Farley.

The “Charging Bull” statue, installed in December 1989, symbolizes “the strength and power of the American people” — and Italian-American sculptor Arturo Di Modica said that placing the “Fearless Girl” there changed the meaning of the artwork.

De Blasio’s office also said that city officials are “looking at a similar move” to the area near the NYSE for the “Charging Bull” statue.