NYC’s Fearless Girl statue will remain opposite the NYSE for now

The fearless girl’s four-foot bronze statue, which was dumped in front of New York City’s Charging Bull in 2017, will remain in its current location across from the New York Stock Exchange until at least early next year while city officials wrestle with a permanent disposition for the symbol’s popularity of female empowerment, a city council ruled on Monday.

Members of the Public Design Commission granted an 11-month extension to the permit and said they would spend the next six months figuring out a way for New York City to take ownership of the statue, which is currently the subject of a lawsuit between the artist Kristen Visbal and State Street is Global Advisors, the Boston-based wealth management firm that commissioned it.

“We today, the Public Design Commission, cannot make this a permanent work of art,” said Commission President Signe Nielsen. “We can urge that steps be taken to allow this work to be considered for public collection.”

The statue of a spunky young girl was meant to be a temporary installation when State Street commissioned it in 2017 to call for greater representation of women on corporate boards, but permits to have it on display were renewed several times when it became one became a major tourist attraction.

"fearless girl" Statue in NYC
The statue was erected across from the Charging Bull in New York City in 2017.

Fearless Girl moved to its current location across from the Stock Exchange in December 2018 and continues to attract visitors there to take selfies.

Visbal, meanwhile, began selling replicas of the statue around the world. State Street, which had an ownership agreement with the artist, sued Visbal, alleging that selling replicas violated the agreement, and Visbal countered, arguing that the company violated her rights.

“The commission should be aware that State Street has sued me, making it impossible for them to act as fair agents on my behalf,” Visbal told design commission members via Zoom.

She asked the city to take possession of the piece itself. “I believe that artists’ rights can only be respected and recognized if the city owns the work,” she said.

Both Visbal and State Street showed support for the board’s vote to renew the statue’s temporary permit while working towards a permanent solution.

Fearless Girl statue in New York City
“We are grateful that the statue of the fearless girl will remain in its current location in front of the New York Stock Exchange,” a State Street spokesman said in a statement.

“As the artist and creator of the ‘Fearless Girl’ statue, I am beyond grateful to New York City and the Public Design Commission for listening to my concerns,” Visbal said in a statement. “I promise to work with the city over the next six months to find a fair and reasonable resolution.”

A State Street spokesman said in a statement: “We are grateful that the statue of the fearless girl will remain in its current location in front of the New York Stock Exchange. With the outcome of today’s hearing with the City of New York’s Public Design Commission, we will be working with the Department of Transportation, the PDC, and the artist to fulfill our desire to keep the Fearless Girl statue in its current location for an extended period of time. “ NYC’s Fearless Girl statue will remain opposite the NYSE for now


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