Last week, the New York City government withdrew plans to move the iconic bronze statue “Charging Bull” out of its current location in Bowling Green Park, to a place near the New York Stock Exchange. The withdrawal came after the The Bull’s artist-creator Arturo Di Modica filed a protest against the relocation plan.
The city’s proposal, requires the approval of the Public Design Commission through an application submitted by the Department of Transportation, which the latter subsequently withdrew after Di Modica filed his protest.
For nearly 30 years now since Di Modica installed the massive 7K-pound bronze culture as a gift to the people of New York, millions of tourists arriving at Manhattan’s Wall Street district have used the “Charging Bull” as backdrop for their souvenir photos.
Di Modica argues that placing the “Charging Bull” near the NYSE disregards his copyright and trademark to the sculpture. The artist asserts that the NYSE is owned and operated by the Atlanta-based corporation Intercontinental Exchange. Placing it near the stock exchange building, will later make The Bull known as the New York Exchange Bull; rather than its alternative moniker “Wall Street Bull” for symbolizing the power of Wall Street.
NY City Hall Asserts Safety as the Main Issue for The Bull’s Relocation
According to New York City Hall’s official spokesperson Jane Meyer, the withdrawal has nothing to do with Di Modica’s opinions. The proposal to relocate The Bull to a site where it will become accessible to only a few vehicles, is mainly about concerns for the safety of New Yorkers. Apparently the safety issue is related to the incidents in which protesters involved “The Charging Bull” in staging their protest actions.
The most recent, being the incident in which a truck driver vented his ire on U.S. president Donald Trump by repeatedly hitting the bronze statue with a metal banjo. The violent action left several scratches and a six-inch gash on the bronze icon’s forehead. Visitors and onlookers were unsure on how to react, as some thought it was some kind of performance art. Eventually, it became clear that it was a pure act of vandalism when law enforcement agents arrived and arrested the driver.
Still, Di Modica responded to the safety issue by stating that for 30 years since the artwork was installed, accidents of any kind has never happened next to the “The Charging Bull.”
As a backgrounder, the artist had installed The Bull, guerilla style, under the huge Christmas tree that stood in front of the NYSE in December 1989. He left it as a Christmas gift to the city — statung that the visual art symbolizes the people’s resilience during harsh and critical economic times. The statue gained the approval of then NY City Mayor Mayor Ed Koch and NY Parks Commissioner Henry Stern, whose agreements assured the bull a location in Manhattan’s Bowling Green Park, in perpetuity.