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‘Fearless Girl’ statue's fate remains unknown one year after debut

A spokeswoman for the mayor said they expect to announce the "next steps" for the statue "very soon."

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The "Fearless Girl" statue was decked out in a cape of blue flowers as part of an International Women's Day celebration by Old Navy on Thursday, March 8, 2018. Photo Credit: Anne Ehart

The fate of the “Fearless Girl” remains up in the air, even as the city marks the one-year anniversary of the statue’s debut opposite the “Charging Bull.”

The countdown clock on the 4-foot bronze statue’s stay in the Financial District has been slowly ticking down to zero since Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last year that it could remain until the next International Women’s Day. On Thursday, however, a spokeswoman from the mayor’s office said the beloved statue that captured the hearts of many will be lingering at its current location for a little longer.

“The ‘Fearless Girl’s’ message has resonated with New Yorkers and visitors alike, and that’s something we want to remain a part of the city’s civic life,” mayoral spokeswoman Natalie Grybauskas said in an emailed statement. “The statue will likely stay in place a few days after International Women’s Day, and we expect to announce next steps very soon.”

The “Fearless Girl” has become a magnet for tourists since it first appeared outside 8 Broadway on March 7, 2017, the night before International Women’s Day. The statue, which is meant to shed light on the lack of gender diversity on corporate boards, was only expected to remain for a week, but de Blasio extended the permit through March 8, 2018, due its popularity.

As the deadline to remove the statue neared, representatives from the mayor’s office and State Street Global Advisors, which commissioned artist Kristen Visbal to create “Fearless Girl,” said they were in talks to ensure the statue could remain in the city. But it was unclear if it could stay at its current location downtown.

“Since we placed ‘Fearless Girl’ in New York City on International Women’s Day last year, she has inspired millions around the world and drawn thousands of visitors,” a State Street Global Advisors spokeswoman said on Feb. 15. “We are currently working with the mayor’s office to determine a permanent solution to keep ‘Fearless Girl’ in New York City so she can continue to promote the power of having more women in leadership.”

Though “Charging Bull” was created by artist Arturo Di Modica and predates “Fearless Girl” by 27 years, the city was considering whether to redesign the current location to be more pedestrian-friendly or to move the pair to a completely new location, Adweek reported in February.

Di Modica’s attorney, Norman Siegel, said in February that he reached out to the artist regarding the possibility that “Charging Bull” could be moved, but he had not heard back from him.

In April, Di Modica held a news conference condemning the city for its decision to allow the “Fearless Girl” to remain just feet from his artwork, claiming the bronze girl with her hands on her hips and her head held high violates his artistic copyright to the “Charging Bull” because it distorts the bull’s original artistic purpose.

De Blasio, however, defended the statue and the city’s decision to extend its residence through the Department of Transportation Art program.

The "Fearless Girl" was decked out with a giant flower cape on Thursday, as part of an International Women's Day celebration spearheaded by Old Navy. 

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