For nearly two years, a statue of a young girl has been engaged in a staring contest with Wall Street’s iconic outdoor sculpture, Charging Bull—but no longer. Tuesday night, under cover of darkness, Fearless Girl, as it’s called, was removed by State Street Global Advisors, the Boston-based financial services outfit that had installed the work in March 2017 as a way of promoting the inclusion of more women officers on corporate boards. According to the firm, the sculpture, by artist Kristen Visbal, is being transferred to a spot in front of the New York Stock Exchange by the end of the year.
With her uplifted chin, and hands-on-hips posture, Fearless Girl delivered a defiant feminist message, though some people called it a self-serving stunt by an investment company looking to burnish its progressive bonafides. The statue also attracted the ire of Charging Bull artist Arturo Di Modica, who, feeling it detracted from his work, demanded its removal. As if that wasn’t controversy enough, a couple months after Fearless Girl appeared, another artist, Alex Gardega, decided to offer his opinion by installing his sculpture of a urinating dog next to her leg.
Nonetheless, Fearless Girl became a hit with tourists and Instagrammers alike. City Hall gave its blessing to the project, extending its stay though in April of this year, announcing that both sculptures would be moved to the Stock Exchange because their location at the northern tip of Bowling Green was creating traffic problems as people crowded around Fearless Girl to take selfies with it.
No exact dates have been given for moving either work, though State Street Global Advisors did leave behind a plaque embedded in the street with Fearless Girl’s shoe prints and a reassuring message that reads, “Fearless Girl is on the move to The New York Stock Exchange. Until she’s there, stand for her.”