Don’t make the Bull follow the Girl

Don’t make the Bull follow the Girl

It looks like Wall Street’s two opposing statuary icons, “Charging Bull” and “Fearless Girl,” are going to remain a matched pair at a new location — simply because Mayor Bill de Blasio wants it that way.

And never mind the rights of one of the artists, who rightly charges that City Hall has blatantly misrepresented the meaning of his work.

The city disclosed this week that “Fearless Girl,” the marketing stunt installed last year by a Boston financial firm (with its own sexism woes), is being moved in front of the New York Stock Exchange.

That would allow the 50-inch-tall girl, hands defiantly on hips, to keep confronting corporate sexism, which is why she originally was placed opposite the statue that has become a symbol of Wall Street.

Except that “Charging Bull,” itself a tourist favorite for nearly three decades, was designed as a symbol of optimism, strength and resilience after the 1987 crash.

Which is why artist Arturo di Modica, who created and installed the bull at his own expense, rightly objected that his artwork’s meaning had been distorted and turned into a symbol of sexism.

But now de Blasio, declaring it “important that the ‘Fearless Girl’ be in a position to stand up to the bull and what it stands for” — well, what he’s decided it stands for — says “Charging Bull” will be moving right along with her.

Bad idea — but so typically de Blasio.

We appreciate that it’s impossible to totally separate art and politics. Plenty of major artworks, in fact, are highly political.

But that doesn’t mean the mayor has any right to hijack an artist’s intention and distort his work’s actual intent to send an entirely contradictory message. That’s true even if, as here, he’s glomming on to a now-widespread (but incorrect) perception.

As we’ve noted before, both statues have points to make, separate and apart from each other. And that’s how they should stand: Move the girl; leave the bull in place.

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