'Fearless Girl' statue on the move

Statue will be located outside the NYSE

By DANIELLE WIENER-BRONNER, CNN BUSINESS
Amanda Marmor via CNN

(CNN) - "Fearless Girl" is heading to a new home.

The bronze statue of a young girl standing with her hands on her hips is being relocated from Bowling Green Park, where it stood across the iconic "Charging Bull," to a spot outside of the New York Stock Exchange.

A plaque has been placed where "Fearless Girl" used to be.

State Street Global Advisors, the financial firm that installed the statue in March 2017, and New York City said on Wednesday that the statue was moved on Monday night. The statue hasn't been installed at the new location yet, but will be there by the end of the year, State Street said. The mayor's office said in April that the statue's post outside of the New York Stock Exchange would be its "long-term" home.

Transporting the bronze statue is a big project. Sculptor Kristen Visbal, who made the statue, said that it took nearly six hours to install "Fearless Girl" opposite the bull. First, the team had to artificially extend the tip of Bowling Green Park, where "Charging Bull" sits, by lowering a massive cobblestone base onto city property. They installed the hollow statue, which Visbal estimates weighs about 300 pounds, into the base, and had to adjust the statue to offset the street's steep incline.

"Fearless Girl" was only supposed to stay in place for a few days. But the city decided to extend its permit in response to the public's embrace.

Fans see the statue as a symbol of empowerment and equality. They've dressed it for poor weather and imitated its pose — chest forward, chin held high — to be photographed by its side. Crowding around the statue posed a safety risk and was a factor in the move, the city said.

New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio called the statue "a powerful symbol of the need for change at the highest levels of corporate America" in April. He added that "she will become a durable part of our city's civic life."

People were so enamored with the statue that Visbal started selling 2-foot reproductions for $6,500 apiece.

"I've heard your requests," Visbal wrote on the website selling the reproductions. "My hope is that your limited edition bronze will serve as a symbol of empowerment."

The statue also has its critics. Because "Fearless Girl" was commissioned by State Street to raise awareness of its initiative to increase the number of women on corporate boards, some see the statue as a glorified ad. "Charging Bull" sculptor Arturo Di Modica said "Fearless Girl" tarnishes the bull's positive message.

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