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Politician, activist call on de Blasio to keep ‘Fearless Girl’

A sculpture titled 'The Fearless Girl' by artist

A sculpture titled 'The Fearless Girl' by artist Kristen Visbal was installed facing the famous sculpture of the charging bull in Lower Manhattan by State Street Global Advisors to promote the idea of women in leadership positions in New York, New York, March 7, 2017 Photo Credit: EPA / JUSTIN LANE

The woman whose Facebook post inspired the Women’s March on Washington joined Rep. Carolyn Maloney on Monday to urge New York City officials to make the “Fearless Girl” statue a permanent fixture next to the Wall Street bull.

Teresa Shook, who is credited with launching the idea for the January march as a counterpoint to President Donald Trump’s inauguration, stood alongside Maloney (D-Manhattan) at a news conference in lower Manhattan, as the congresswoman urged Mayor Bill de Blasio to grant the sculpture a permanent home across from Wall Street’s “Charging Bull” statue.

“The ‘Fearless Girl’ has inspired us and women across the country and literally the world,” Maloney said of the 4-foot bronze statue of a ponytailed girl staring down the hulking bull.

The statue, by artist Kristen Visbal, initially was placed in front of the bull sculpture on the eve of International Women’s Day in March as part of a campaign by the investment firm State Street Global Advisors to draw focus to gender equity issues in the workplace. The temporary art installation soon became a popular tourist attraction, and was embraced by many as a symbol of female empowerment.

Maloney said she was “deeply grateful” that de Blasio had extended the sculpture’s initial weeklong display to a year, but said more needed to be done to ensure the “Fearless Girl” would stay put permanently in Bowling Green.

“We are asking him politely, respectfully, for her to stay permanently,” she said.

De Blasio’s press office did not respond to a request for comment Monday, but in March, when announcing the yearlong permit extension, the mayor lauded the sculpture for giving “a message of power and personal empowerment to women and girls.”

Arturo Di Modica, the sculptor behind the “Charging Bull,” has called for the girl’s removal, saying the statue’s placement across from the 11-foot bull he erected in the late 1980s infringes on his rights as an artist.

Last week, a New York City artist placed a papier-mâché statue of a dog urinating on the “Fearless Girl,” saying his piece was meant to show solidarity with Di Modica.

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