New York

'Fearless Girl' statue opposite bull stays through February 2018

The globally popular statue of a young girl staring down Wall Street's famed "Charging Bull" will remain in place through February 2018 instead of being removed this coming Sunday, the mayor said.

Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio appeared with the "Fearless Girl" statue on Monday on the lower Manhattan traffic meridian where the two bronze figures face each other.

The 4-foot, 250-pound ponytailed girl in a windblown dress was installed this month to highlight the dearth of women on corporate boards as she stands strong against the 11-foot-tall, 7,100-pound bull. The girl became an instant tourist draw and internet sensation.

On Monday morning, Democratic U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, of New York, led a group of prominent women in front of City Hall to honor the artist, Kristen Visbal, and State Street Global Advisors, the asset management firm that commissioned the work.

"She was created to bring attention to the courage and unrealized power of women in so many fields, and she has clearly struck a nerve," said Maloney, who is pushing for the statue to become a permanent installation.

Visbal said the positive response to her artwork "renewed my faith in sculpture to make an impact on society, to create a debate the way a good piece of art should."

She said she's received more than 1,000 emails from around the world, including from a mother who wanted to wallpaper her daughter's room with the girl's image.

"I see men and women as the ying and yang of society," Visbal said. "They bring different things to the table. They solve problems in a different way. But we need to work together."

"Fearless Girl" will be allowed to stay in place for another 11 months through an art program of the city's Department of Transportation that manages lower Broadway near Wall Street.

The bull, created by Arturo Di Modica, arrived after the 1987 stock market crash as a symbol of Americans' financial resilience and can-do spirit. Di Modica wants the girl gone, saying the statue was an "advertising trick" fashioned by two corporate giants, including the McCann advertising firm, while his sculpture was "art."