The “Fearless Girl” is famous for holding on, but she might not face the New York Stock Exchange any longer.
The popular and courageous statue – which has occupied its current perch on Broad Street in lower Manhattan since 2018 after an earlier stint in front of the “Charging Bull” a few blocks away – may soon be forced to relocate again because of the permit. benchmark is about to expire. next month, On The Money found out.
While Mayor Bill de Blasio is keen to keep the statue in place beyond the November expiration date, people close to the mayor’s office told The Post that the legal basis seemed shaky.
That’s because State Street – the financial giant that commissioned the statue – only received a three-year permit from the Landmark Preservation Commission (LPC) when it moved “Fearless Girl” from Bowling Green across to “Charging Bull” three years ago.
State Street is actively seeking an extension of LPC. In a Power Point reviewed by The Post, the company said, “We are asking for your approval to keep this statue here for as long as possible so that we don’t need to get an extension every year.”
But according to sources, it is the Public Design Commission, not the LPC, that has the power to give this approval. The downtown community council also ruled that LPC cannot extend the permit.
Meanwhile, despite the statue’s popularity – nearly 40,000 people have signed a petition on Change.org seeking to keep the statue permanent – it upsets some in the arts community who view it simply as a tool of a corporate campaign.
“The idea of a company erecting a permanent monument without an approval process is horrible for people who care about public art,” Todd Fine, president of the Washington Street Advocacy Group, told The Post.
“State Street tries to set up landmarks, but they subvert the city’s agency, PDC, which has jurisdiction,” Fine added. “LPC cannot extend the permit and there isn’t even a hearing scheduled yet anyway.”
State Street recently grabbed the headlines for packing up and leaving town. The Boston-based company told workers in August that they would not be returning to their Rockefeller Center offices. Instead, its 500 Big Apple employees are invited to work from home or travel to offices in State Street, New Jersey or Stamford, Conn.
In a statement to the Post, a State Street representative said, “We installed the Fearless Girl statue on Wall Street on the eve of International Women’s Day 2017, and it boldly reminded us of the importance of diversity. gender in leadership since. We will continue to work diligently with New York City to extend its license beyond November 2021. ”
Nonetheless, State Street itself has been sued for underpaying female staff. State Street has denied the allegations but refunded nearly $ 5 million to the workers in a 2017 settlement.
He is also involved in a legal battle with the artist who created the statue, Kristen Visbal. State Street in 2019 slapped Visbal with a lawsuit for selling a version of “Fearless Girl” to a hotel in Oslo, Norway, claiming the sale was trademark infringement. State Street and Visbal both claim they have rights to the statue.
“This company, which presented itself entirely as being pro-diversified, has
blocked and manipulated the very artist who created the work – a woman! »Visbal
said in a video she posted online.