Fearless Girl is here to stay.
Nearly a year after she first appeared in downtown Manhattan, right before International Women’s Day 2017, negotiations are under way between the Mayor’s Office and State Street Global Advisors, the financial firm behind the now-iconic statue, regarding the long-term future of both Fearless Girl and her nemesis statue, Charging Bull.
According to multiple sources close to the matter, the parties have already decided to make the pair—now considered inseparable—a permanent fixture in the New York City landscape. The only issue yet to be determined is whether they will stay in their current location, which could be redesigned, or be moved to a new one.
Officials have traffic and safety concerns regarding the existing location, due to Fearless Girl’s immense popularity as a tourist destination, sources said. The current space could be redesigned to address those concerns, or both Fearless Girl and Charging Bull could be moved to a more pedestrian-friendly location nearby.
“The message of the Fearless Girl statue has resonated with New Yorkers and visitors alike,” a spokesperson for Mayor Bill de Blasio told Adweek. “Its enthusiastic reception has been heartening, and we are discussing various approaches to ensure this statue continues to be a part of the city’s civic life.”
A State Street Global Advisors representative added: “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. 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.”
Millions of tourists and natives have indeed flocked to see the statue since its March 7, 2017, debut. Analysts estimate that the work, which cost a reported $250,000, had generated more than $7 million in free marketing after only six months. Perhaps more importantly, SSGA said 76 of 476 companies in which it invests had “actively worked to promote women” as a direct result of the campaign. Sources also told Adweek that other cities have expressed interest in installing their own versions of Fearless Girl.
The statue’s popularity has persisted despite a late 2017 controversy in which SSGA’s parent company, State Street Corp., agreed to pay $5 million in fines for allegedly underpaying female and minority employees in the years 2010 and 2011.
Both the Mayor’s Office and SSGA declined to comment on specifics regarding the plans for a permanent home currently under consideration. A spokesperson for McCann New York, the agency that created the statue, deferred to the client for comment.
The two statues—with Fearless Girl staring down Charging Bull—have become essentially a package deal, much to the chagrin of Charging Bull artist Arturo Di Modica, who launched a failed attempt to convince De Blasio to remove Fearless Girl last spring.
De Blasio has steadily championed the work. In a March 27, 2017, press conference, he announced that Fearless Girl would stay beyond its initial month-long permit. “I’m happy to say, she’s going to be with us all the way to next International Women’s Day to continue to inspire us,” he said at the time.
Now, it seems, she’ll stay far longer.