Fearless Girl statue stands tall in the fight to become an NYC staple

New York, New York - The legendary Fearless Girl statue has been granted another extension to stay on the streets of New York City, with talks continuing to make it a permanent NYC art installation.

The Fearless Girl statue stands outside the New York Stock Exchange in Manhattan's financial district.
The Fearless Girl statue stands outside the New York Stock Exchange in Manhattan's financial district.  © REUTERS

On Monday, members of New York's Public Design Commission (PDC) held an open meeting that included a conversation with artist Kristen Visbal about the future of her work.

The PDC granted an 11-month extension to the piece, and vowed to work with city officials over the next six months to make it a permanent fixture.

"As the artist and the creator of the Fearless Girl statue, I am beyond grateful to New York City and the Public Design Commission for hearing my concerns," Visbal said, pledging to work with the city to "identify a fair and reasonable solution."

Fearless Girl was first installed in 2017 in front of the city's famed Charging Bull statue, but was moved in 2018 right outside, and facing, the New York Stock Exchange building in Manhattan's financial district. The four-foot, two-inch tall bronze statue of a pony-tailed girl in a jumper with her hands on her hips became a symbol for female empowerment and gender equality, and has faced the threat of being removed as its permit with the city has expired.

As the statue grew in popularity and became a major tourist attraction for the city, Visbal began selling replicas of the statue to locales around the world. State Street Global Advisors (SSGA), the organization that commissioned the original installation, sued Visbal, claiming replica sales violated her agreement with the company.

"The commission should be aware that State Street has sued me, which makes it impossible for them to act as fair agents on my behalf," Visbal told the PDC during the meeting.

Fortunately, the SSGA has expressed support for the statue's NYC renewal. A spokesperson for the company said, "We will work together with the Department of Transportation, PDC and the artist regarding our desire to keep the Fearless Girl statue at her current location for an extended period."

Visbal has started a petition to help make her piece permanent, which fans can sign to let NYC know they stand with Fearless Girl.

Cover photo: Lena Grotticelli

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