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Thread: Wall Street's 'Charging Bull'

  1. #1

    Default Wall Street's 'Charging Bull'

    December 20, 2004

    Wall Street's most famous bull for sale

    Sculptor says any buyer must leave the 7,000-pound bronze statue in lower Manhattan: report.

    The famous Wall Street bull could have a new owner.

    NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - If Wall Street wants a bull market, it has one now.

    Sculptor Arturo Di Modica, who created the famous flared-nostril, 7,000-pound bull that sits in the heart of New York's financial district in lower Manhattan, is auctioning his famous piece to the highest bidder, a newspaper reported Monday.

    The bronze sculpture is one the world's best-known symbols of American capitalism and one of the biggest tourist draws in the financial district. According to the Wall Street Journal, Di Modica said any new owner must leave the "Charging Bull" where it is, and must donate it to New York City.

    "Over the years so many people have offered to buy it, but it must stay where it is," he told the Journal.

    In exchange, the buyer will get a tax break and branding rights, said the report. The owner's name will also be placed on a plaque designed by Di Modica that will sit next to the bull, the newspaper said.

    Di Modica told the Journal that at least 10 percent of the proceeds will be donated to charity and the rest will go toward a set of eight marble sculptures he has in the works.

    According to the report, Di Modica was inspired by the 1987 stock market crash to create the bull, investing about $360,000 of his own money in the project.

    The newspaper reported that potential buyers include financial institutions like Merrill Lynch.

    © 2004 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.

  2. #2


    December 21, 2004

    The Bronze Bull Is for Sale, but There Are a Few Conditions


    The snorting, pavement-pawing, 11-foot-tall, 7,000-pound, bronze "Charging Bull," which has been displayed since 1989 in Bowling Green on lower Broadway, is being offered for sale by its sculptor and owner, Arturo Di Modica. However, the buyer must keep it in place and donate it to New York City.

    "It's become one of the most visited, most photographed and perhaps most loved and recognized statues in the city of New York," said Adrian Benepe, the city parks commissioner. "I would say it's right up there with the Statue of Liberty."

    The minimum bid is $5 million.

    Mr. Benepe said the city did not have the money to acquire the sculpture but would welcome it as a donation. Should that occur, the Parks Department would at last be in a position to seek formal approval from the Art Commission to put the bull in Bowling Green, 15 years after placing it there on a temporary basis. Mr. Benepe declined to predict whether the Art Commission would authorize a truly permanent installation.

    The donor would be recognized on a plaque designed by Mr. Di Modica, a 63-year-old artist who divides his time between Sicily and a studio in Lower Manhattan. Mr. Di Modica would use most of the proceeds to finance other sculptures he is planning for New York. He would also recoup more than $300,000 that he spent on "The Charging Bull" and donate some money to charity.

    The offer was reported yesterday by The Wall Street Journal. Stefan Oppermann of the Fine Art Collection, who represents the artist, said he was already talking with interested parties, whom he would not name. More information is available at .

    "The Charging Bull" made its startling debut outside the New York Stock Exchange on Dec. 15, 1989. Mr. Di Modica installed it overnight, without permits, as a tribute to America's rebound from the 1987 stock market crash. It was quickly hauled away. Six days later, however, it was temporarily relocated in Bowling Green by Henry J. Stern, who was then the parks commissioner.

    As long ago as 1993, the Art Commission was eager to resolve the sculpture's status. "What about the artists who play by the rules?" Vivian Millicent Warfield, then the commission's executive director, asked at the time. "They would love to have an extended exhibit in a prime spot free of charge."

    Critics might debate the bull's artistic merits, but its popularity is beyond doubt. Visitors constantly pose for pictures around it. Passers-by have rubbed - to a bright gleam - its nose, horns and a part of its anatomy that, as Mr. Benepe put it gingerly, "separates the bull from the steer."

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  3. #3


    The bull would be more appropriate in Disneyland - or perhaps next to the bronze Mickey Mouse at Disney Store on Fifth Avenue. The members of Art Commission would be out of their minds to approve the permanent installation of this tasteless sculpture.

  4. #4
    Banned Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY


    First the artist dumps it off, in the dark of night, in front of the NYSE. Now, he wants to sell it? Make up your mind!

  5. #5


    Maybe he could donate ALL the proceeds to charity,whom I'm should would put up a plaque for him!That minimum bid must be in lira.Scam artist is more like it.Go see Lamborghini if you want to sell it for branding rights.

  6. #6


    $5 million dollars - what a joke. For $1.5 million you can buy the pair of awesome Adam and Eve bronze sculptures that are currently displayed in Time Warner Center. As to the rubbing - to a bright gleam - any bronze would be rubbed, as the picture below illustrates.

  7. #7
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    New York City


    Children today....

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    New York City


    You got a chuckle out of me TLOZ Link5...

    While the $5 million dollar price tag might be absurd, I got to admit how much I love that bull...

  9. #9


    A shot of the Bull from May 2004 (my firs trip to NYC)..

  10. #10


    AM New York
    September 21, 2006

    Sculptor of Manhattan 'Charging Bull' statue sues to protect it


    The bull statue in New York's financial district is adorned with the stars and stripes in this Sept. 17, 2001, file photo.

    An artist has sued those he says are seeking to ride his "Charging Bull" sculpture to profits, claiming they are illegally capitalizing on the popularity of the 7,000-pound tourist attraction near Wall Street.

    Arturo Di Modica sought unspecified damages against several corporations including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. for what he said was unauthorized use of the stylized bronze larger-than-life-size bull, which has stood at the base of Manhattan since 1989.

    A telephone message left with Wal-Mart was not immediately returned Thursday.

    The Sicilian immigrant's lawsuit, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court, recalled the cold December night in 1989 when the bull was first fork-lifted from a truck to a spot at the entrance of the New York Stock Exchange.

    It said the bull became an "immediate sensation" and was moved four days later to its permanent spot at the foot of Broadway.

    The sculpture's popularity and international recognition as a symbol of the city led to counterfeit copies, photographs and knockoff sculptures being sold in stores and on the Internet, the lawsuit said.

    Some people have even sought to incorporate images of the sculpture in advertising campaigns and into graphics associated with television programs, all without the artist's permission, the lawsuit said.

    Di Modica said Wal-Mart was selling and marketing photos and lithographic copies of the "Charging Bull" to the public. He sought through the lawsuit to block future sales of images of his work by Wal-Mart and others and receive part of the profits that resulted from the sales.

    Di Modica was inspired to create the 16-foot-long bull as a symbol of strength and hope after the 1987 stock market collapse. It took him two years to complete and cost him more than $350,000.

    Copyright 2006 AM New York

  11. #11
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003


    Tough crap.

    Did he ever get that $5M? If he did, this is DOUBLY worthless.

    I say, if he doe not like it, he is free to move his "work of art" somewhere else.


  12. #12


    Wal-Mart and other corporations should be held liable - and fined - for lack of taste and associating with this impotent Mickey Mouse of a statue.

    The statue should be immediately sent to National Cattlemen's Beef Association and replaced with The Virgin Mother by Damien Hirst.

  13. #13
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    No matter what you call it ^^^ artists are entitled to the copyright of their creative work:

    What Is Copyright ?

    Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (title 17, U. S. Code) to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. This protection is available to both published and unpublished works.

    Section 106 of the 1976 Copyright Act generally gives the owner of copyright the exclusive right to do and to authorize others to do the following:
    • To reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords;
    • To prepare derivative works based upon the work;
    • To distribute copies or phonorecords of the work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;
    • To perform the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works;
    • To display the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work; and
    • In the case of sound recordings*, to perform the work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.
    In addition, certain authors of works of visual art have the rights of attribution and integrity as described in section 106A of the 1976 Copyright Act. For further information, request Circular 40, Copyright Registration for Works of the Visual Arts.

    It is illegal for anyone to violate any of the rights provided by the copyright law to the owner of copyright. These rights, however, are not unlimited in scope. Sections 107 through 121 of the 1976 Copyright Act establish limitations on these rights. In some cases, these limitations are specified exemptions from copyright liability. One major limitation is the doctrine of “fair use,” which is given a statutory basis in section 107 of the 1976 Copyright Act. In other instances, the limitation takes the form of a “compulsory license” under which certain limited uses of copyrighted works are permitted upon payment of specified royalties and compliance with statutory conditions. For further information about the limitations of any of these rights, consult the copyright law or write to the Copyright Office.

  14. #14


    Selling photos and lithographic copies of the "Charging Bull" to the public is not violation of copyright.

  15. #15
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003


    I think he should have to pay rent for the spot first, seeing how he kind of dropped it there w/o permission.

    Now if Target and others are selling full size replicas.....

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