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‘Fearless Girl’ to move, ‘Charging Bull’ could follow

“Fearless Girl” became an overnight sensation last year, when State Street’s investment arm installed the 50-inch bronze statue to defiantly face off the “Charging Bull” of Wall Street.Bebeto Matthews/Associated Press/Associated Press

The “Fearless Girl” statue has found a new home in Manhattan, and the “Charging Bull” she faced off with may follow her there.

The statues may move together to a spot by the New York Stock Exchange. Boston-based State Street Corp. commissioned the “Fearless Girl” statue to mark International Women’s Day last year as well as the firm’s efforts to put more women on corporate boards.

Fearless Girl’s new location, from Bowling Green Park a short walk down Broadway from the NYSE, was announced Thursday by the company and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Part marketing, part corporate declaration of intent, “Fearless Girl” became an overnight sensation last year, when State Street’s investment arm installed the 50-inch bronze statue to defiantly face off the “Charging Bull” of Wall Street.

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“Fearless Girl,” by sculptor Kristen Visbal, has been on a temporary permit, but became so popular that de Blasio vowed to make her a fixture in the city. At the new location, the statue also will be on a one-year permit, which is common for public art installations, with a plan to renew it continually.

“We are proud to be home to the Fearless Girl. She is a potent symbol of the need for change at the highest levels of corporate America — and she will become a durable part of our city’s civic life,” de Blasio said in the statement. “This move to a new location will ensure that her message and impact will continue to be heard, as well as improve access for visitors.”

The current spot on Bowling Green Park was not without controversy. Arturo Di Modica, the artist behind “Charging Bull” complained that “Fearless Girl” encroached on his work.

But de Blasio wants to keep the statues together.

His spokesman, Eric Phillips, in a tweet on Thursday wrote: “The Bull will almost certainly be moved — and will very likely wind up reunited with Fearless Girl. But it’s tricky and some things still need to be sorted out. Anyone who’s ever relocated a 7,000-lb bronze bull knows what I mean.”

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Meanwhile, State Street’s investment arm, State Street Global Advisors, will work with the mayor’s office to relocate “Fearless Girl” by the end of the year.

“Our hope is that by moving her closer to the NYSE she will encourage more companies to take action and, more broadly, that she will continue to inspire people from all walks of life on the issue of gender diversity,” Cyrus Taraporevala, the chief executive of State Street Global Advisors, said in a statement.

State Street commissioned “Fearless Girl” to draw attention to the firm’s new policy that companies it invests in must have gender diversity in the boardroom. If companies with all-male boards did not act, State Street — with its $2.78 trillion in assets under management — voted against them.

Since the statue has been put up, 152 public companies in State Street’s portfolio have added a female director to their boards and another 34 companies have pledged to do so.

This year, on International Women’s Day, State Street called on companies in its portfolio to share data about the number of women at all levels of management. State Street will begin to screen and engage public companies, starting in Europe and the United Kingdom.


Shirley Leung can be reached at shirley.leung@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @leung.

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