New York City officials are finalizing plans to relocate the famous Charging Bull statue from its current location at Bowling Green to a pedestrian area near the New York Stock Exchange.
The proposed move, which the mayor’s office says is intended to protect safety and avoid traffic congestion, has been challenged by the artist Arturo Di Modica, who gifted the statue to the city in 1989.
Robert Balder is the Executive Director of Cornell’s Architecture Art and Planning department in New York City located at 26 Broadway.
“The popularity of the Charging Bull statue has increased as more and more visitors make their way to lower Manhattan. The reality is that the popularity of the Charging Bull statue is causing major traffic conflicts on lower Broadway and is likely to lead to a pedestrian fatality. Given the limited space at Bowling Green, there’s little choice but to move it back to the sculpture’s original home adjacent to the NY Stock Exchange.
“The proposed relocation near the NY Stock Exchange is an ideal solution as it's already a pedestrian only corridor and well secured. It's actually the location that the artist of the raging bull first placed it. It's returning home!
“The artist's concern about it being rebranding by the NYSE seems weak especially given that the iconic 'bull' has been identified with financial trading for more than 100 years. He didn't create that reference or its meaning, his work is based on that common understanding.”
Thomas Campanella is an associate professor of city and regional planning. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Campanella is a historian of city planning and the urban built environment. He details the history of Brooklyn in his recent book “Brooklyn: The Once and Future City.”
“An artist who gifts a creative work to a municipality should be grateful his art is judged worthy of display in whatever public space city officials deem appropriate. Public art is just that; it belongs to the city and its people.
“As a frequent visitor to the Cornell AAP studio at 26 Broadway, across from the Bull, I’ve seen firsthand just how chaotic and overcrowded its tiny plaza can get. While aesthetically a splendid site for the work, it is not does meet the stringent public safety standards necessary in our post-9/11 city.
“Mr. Di Modica's Bull has a life of its own now. Like a parent who can't let go of a child, he was irate over Fearless Girl and now opposes moving the bull to the very place he originally wanted it.”