Activists stand by 'Fearless Girl' in push to keep statue in New York City as permit expires

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Friday, December 3, 2021
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Kemberly Richardson has more on activists pushing to keep the 'Fearless Girl' statue in NYC as the permit expires.

LOWER MANHATTAN, New York (WABC) -- Activists stood by the 'Fearless Girl' statue in Lower Manhattan on Thursday in a push to keep it in New York City.

The permit for the statue expired on Tuesday.

Artist Kristen Visbal is hoping to work with public agencies to keep the sculpture in the city forever.

"We want to make sure she remains for women, men, all our global society," Visbal said. "She is powerful, can be used to teach, to influence and spur change, a change which encompasses true gender collaborations on equal gender footing and all the rewards the collaboration brings."

Visbal says the 'Fearless Girl' is a symbol of equality for all women and girls defiantly standing up for their rights.

"We need more women in decision making. We need to develop a culture which supports gender, racial, and cultural interaction. And we must keep Fearless Girl in place as a reminder of these ideals until we achieve them. She's got to stay until we get it right," Visbal said.

Since the launch of the Fearless Girl campaign in 2017, nearly 1,500 companies were identified for not having a woman on their board, and of those, nearly two-thirds have added a woman director, setting a standard for generations to come.

The statue was initially installed opposite Wall Street's famed Charging Bull. It was supposed to stay for a weeks as part of a stunt by finance company State Street Global Advisors. But it quickly became a beloved feature and has since become a permanent installation outside the New York Stock Exchange.

"It's really the movement that fearless girl represents that is so important, it's the reason we need to keep her. We're no there yet, we have a long way to go," Visbal said.

On December 14, New York City's Landmarks Preservation Commission will hold a public hearing on whether to extend the permit for the statue.

The commission will then issue an advisory report that will be looked at by the City's Public Design Commission which will make the final decision.

State Street Global Advisors is now hoping to renew the permit for at least three years, but the company is pushing for a decade.

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