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New York's 'Fearless Girl' statue to stay for another year

The statue staring down a bull on Wall Street in New York City will be kept in place for at least another 11 months. Supporters now aim to convince New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to let the work stay for good.

The popular statue of a young girl will keep facing Wall Street's "Charging Bull" until February 2018, instead of being removed this coming Sunday, Mayor Bill de Blasio has said.

She faces Wall Street's "Charging Bull" on a patch of cobble stone in the financial district near Bowling Green.

She's "standing up to fear, standing up to power, being able to find in yourself the strength to do what's right," the mayor said. 

The mayor, a Democrat, said the political upheaval surrounding Republican President Donald Trump makes the statue particularly relevant. "She is inspiring everyone at a moment when we need inspiration," he said.

Two petitions, generous press attention and interest on social media generated a push for keeping the statue where it is.

The 50-inch (127 cm) bronze statue of a defiant girl with fists on hips was installed to mark International Women's Day on March 8 under a lease due to end April 2.

"She has clearly struck a nerve," New York Democratic lawmaker Carolyn Maloney said on Monday as she stood on the steps of City Hall with other women politicians to announce the statue's extended stay.

"She has really, really become a meaningful part of the community of New York," Maloney said. "Everyone sees their own dreams and aspirations in the strength of this little girl."

Original artist unhappy

Commissioned by asset manager State Street Global Advisors, the female figurine is part of a campaign to increase gender diversity in business.

The gender diversity campaign by State Street Global Advisors, a subsidiary of State Street Corp, aims to highlight the need for more women on corporate boards. Twenty-five percent of the largest 3,000 US companies have no female directors, the company noted on its website.

But "Fearless Girl" has also drawn criticism, including from artist Arturo Di Modica, who sculpted "Charging Bull" and placed it in front of the New York Stock Exchange in the middle of the night in December 1989.

He has complained that the new statue is an "advertising trick" that distorts the impression he intended his original artwork to convey.

jbh/gsw (AP, Reuters)

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