What to Know
- New York City’s famous bull is charging to a new home, thanks to plans the city is crafting
- The mayor’s office said Thursday that they intend to move the Charging Bull statue this winter to a spot near the New York Stock Exchange
- Some are calling bull on the change of scenery for the statue, however, including the president of the Bowling Green Association
New York City’s famous bull is charging to a new home, thanks to plans the city is crafting.
The mayor’s office said last week they intend to move the Charging Bull statue from its current location at the base of Broadway at Lower Manhattan’s Bowling Green, and on Thursday they confirmed the move would happen this winter.
Pending a review by the Public Design Commission, the statue will be moved to one of the pedestrian plazas near the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street, which are closed to vehicles.
The reasoning for the move boils down to safety, the mayor’s office has said.
“The city is moving ahead with plans to move the Bull to protect the safety of New Yorkers,” said Jane Meyer, a spokesperson for the mayor, last week.
The bull currently sits on the northern-most point of the green, with a line that frequently forms in the narrow sidewalk space right as traffic speeds by on both sides. The city wants to change it so there is more room for pedestrians and to eliminate any risks of visitors getting struck by passing cars. When asked about past accidents, the city did not provide an answer.
Some are calling bull on the change of scenery for the statue, however, including the president of the Bowling Green Association and the sculptor himself.
In a scathing letter, Arthur Piccolo blasted Mayor de Blasio as an “unethical abuser of power” who has “no right” to move the statue.
“So you want to steal Arturo Di Modica’s great gift to Bowling Green for the people of New York City and for all those who visit here from all over the world and give Charging Bull to your friends at New York Stock Exchange,” the letter reads. “You certainly have abused Arturo Di Modica, Charging Bull, and Bowling Green.”
Piccolo, who said that Di Modica is against moving the bull as well, also challenged de Blasio to a debate at the site where the bull stands.
The mayor’s spokesperson said the city was supposed to meet with Di Modica and Piccolo to talk about the “security threat” the current location presents and how the would go about re-locating the statue.
“Unfortunately, Mr. Piccolo decided to grandstand for the media instead of having a productive conversation,” Meyer said.
The New York Stock Exchange is set to cover the cost of the relocation, according to the mayor’s office. It was unclear if the bull would be moved near the Fearless Girl statue that currently stands directly opposite from the stock exchange. The two pieces of art were located right next to each other after the newer installation was added in March 2017, and stayed together until November 2018.
The bull, the symbol of a rising market, was deposited in front of the New York Stock Exchange on Dec. 15, 1989. It was impounded by the city but later installed two blocks south of its original site at Bowling Green.
The decision to move the statue comes after a 42-year-old man from Texas bashed the bull with an imitation metal banjo as a crowd watched on Sept. 7. Di Modica returned from Sicily at the end of the month to help repair the 7,100-pound bull — a gift symbolizing strength and power in response to a stock market crash two years earlier.
The September attack left the beast with a gash at the base of its right horn. The man responsible, Tevon Varlack, cursed President Donald Trump as he struck the statue.
Varlack was charged with criminal mischief and disorderly conduct. He is being represented by the Legal Aid Society, which declined to comment.