No. 13

Grabbing The Bull By The Horns

The Italian artist Arturo Di Monica has claimed that a “publicity stunt” installed in Wall Street in New York prior to International Women’s Day violates his artistic copyright.

On Wall Street, pedestrians can view the statue of Arturo Di Monica, the Charging Bull, a bull ready to charge, a metaphor for the economic power of the traders who frequent this area of town.

The sculptor accuses NY City of breaching his copyright by installing the Fearless Girl, a work by the artist Kristen Visbal of a little girl defying the beast in bronze, in front of his statue without his permission.

The Italian artist claims that the presence of the little girl, because of her defiant attitude, affects his rights and changes the artistic dynamic of his statue. Di Monica is therefore challenging all those who authorised the bronze girl’s stay until February 2018, by demanding documentation on the procedures that were followed.

The character of Kristen Visbal was placed at this symbolic location on 7th March, the day before International Women’s Day, to highlight the fact that there is a lack of women on the boards of the largest American companies.

This little girl defying the imposing bull rapidly created a buzz in the media and on social networks, and became a top tourist attraction. So, Bill de Blasio, the mayor, announced that the city’s permission would be extended for one year, following numerous petitions for the statue to stay put for a longer time.

In the past, the bronze bull was in the same situation that the little girl was in, waiting for the city’s permission to be allowed to stay.

Di Monica installed the bronze giant in front of the New York Stock Exchange without permission and during the night, after the stock market crash in 1987, as a symbol of the financial resilience of America. The city subsequently permitted the statue to stay in the financial district, close to Wall Street.

However, to date no legal action has been instigated, according to the statements by the Italian artist’s lawyer, who also refused to say if this could be instigated in the future.