Di Modica is arguing the permits that allow the new statue to stay until February violate his legal rights.
A statue of a girl facing the Wall Street Bull is seen, as part of a campaign by U.S. fund manager State Street to push companies to put women on their boards, in the financial district in New York March 7, 2017. Fearless Girl was installed by Boston financial firm State Street Global Advisors to send a message about "the power of women in leadership" and a "greater gender diversity on corporate boards".
It was originally created to be a temporary addition to Wall Street but last month New York Mayor Bill de Blasio revealed it would remain a fixture until after International Women's Day 2018.
"We believe that Mr. Di Modica's rights have been violated as a result of installing a statue of a young girl directly across from the Charging Bull", Siegel wrote. Over 36,000 people have signed an online petition calling on de Blasio to make the statue a permanent feature on Wall Street. "Rather, it has been transformed into a negative force and a threat".
As for the index fund, State Street wrote in a statement that it was "grateful" to the city of NY for its support of what the Fearless Girl represents: "the power and potential of having more women in leadership", it said.
Now, though, Di Modica apparently thinks that his once-rogue art has more rights than a new piece which was actually given a permit by the mayor himself. Siegel said he's demanding that the city release documents showing what procedures were followed. The answer is we never dismiss the possibility of litigation however in cases of public concern like this one, we always attempt to initially amicable resolve the issues and violations.
The statue at the heart of the dispute went up last month in celebration of International Women's Day, and though MarketWatch notes its temporary permit originally lasted only until April 2, the city renewed that permit through 2018.
Personally, I'm not sure how "peaceful" a statue of a bull charging at you horns-first can be, but message aside, I feel for Di Modica. He declined to say how much money de Modica was seeking in damages.
The work was created to draw attention to women in leadership and the lack of women in Wall Street boardrooms.
Arturo Di Modica holds a model of his Charging Bull sculpture during a news conference Wednesday, April 12, 2017, in NY. But Di Modica feels the statue undermines the meaning of his Bull, which he defined as "freedom in the world, peace, strength, power and love".
After police seized the sculpture, public outcry led the city's parks department to reinstall it days later nearby at its current location. The 11-foot bronze bull statue has been on Wall Street since the 1987 stock market crash.
McCann and the mayor's office didn't immediately respond to requests for comment from Bloomberg BNA.