Time is running out for “Fearless Girl.”
The bronze statue, which appeared overnight in front of Wall Street’s iconic “Charging Bull” a year ago, is guaranteed her spot until March 8, International Women’s Day.
City officials in New York are still deciding what to do after that.
“We are discussing various approaches to ensure this statue continues to be a part of the city’s civic life,” Natalie Grybauskas, a spokeswoman Mayor de Blasio, said in a statement.
“The message of the Fearless Girl statue has resonated with New Yorkers and visitors alike,” she added.
State Street, the asset management company that commissioned and installed the statue, said it is working with the mayor’s office to figure out a way to make “Fearless Girl” permanent.
State Street hoped the statue would call attention to its efforts to increase the number of women on their clients’ corporate boards.
But “Fearless Girl” soon took on a life of her own.
Tourists and locals flocked to the statue, dressed her up in pink hats and posed beside her for photos. New York leaders pointed to her as a symbol of empowerment and resistance.
And fans started calling for the statue to stay in place forever. More than 38,000 people have signed a Change.org petition to make the statue of the defiant girl, staring up at the towering bull with her hands on her hips, a permanent fixture.
At first, State Street got a short permit for the statue. After an overwhelmingly positive response, the city extended the permit for a few weeks, and then a year.
The statue has her critics — including Arturo Di Modica, the sculptor who created “Charging Bull” three decades ago.
It was installed in front of the New York Stock Exchange in the middle of the night in December 1989. Police removed the statue, which didn’t have a permit. But public support was so great that the city gave it a permanent home nearby. It has stood ever since as a symbol of American capitalism.
At a press conference last year, Di Modica told reporters that “Fearless Girl” tarnished the positive message of the bull, which is “a better America and a better world.”
Unlike “Charging Bull,” “Fearless Girl” was backed by a large corporation and the powerful ad agency McCann.
Some people were troubled by the statue’s origins, arguing that the statue’s feminist message was little more than an attempt by State Street to cover up a spotty record on pay equity.
Months after “Fearless Girl” was installed, State Street agreed to pay $5 million to settle allegations that it underpaid female and black employees. The firm denied any wrongdoing.