Allegedly, grabbing the bull’s testicles will bring you luck. Don’t worry, you won’t look strange — there’s usually a queue of people waiting to do it
The Charging Bull is one of New York’s most recognisable landmarks. Coming in at 5 metres from nose to tail and made of pure bronze, it weighs a massive 3.5 tons. Pictures do not do its size justice: you have to see it in person, with people all over it like ants on jam, to feels its formidable presence.
It is now located at Bowling Green Park in lower Manhattan, but it was not always so. The bull was initially a piece of guerrilla art: during the night of December 15th, it was loaded into a truck and driven to the New York Stock Exchange by the artist Arturo Di Modica and some co-conspirators. They plonked it unannounced under the NYSE Christmas Tree; the next morning, with throngs of bemused visitors admiring the statue, the stock exchange was far from amused. They had it taken to storage in Queen’s and the NY Post ran the headline: “BAH HUMBUG.. N.Y. Stock Exchange grinches can’t bear Christmas-gift bull”.
Although they refused to release the bull until their expenses for removing it were covered, the New York mayor and the ensuing public outcry eventually persuaded them to let it go and it was relocated to its current location, where it has become an iconic image of New York.
Brazen & Bullish
But why a bull? Take a look at the statue: the muscles are taut, the head is lowered, the nostrils flare and those wicked horns are ready to gore. It captures something of the energy, strength and volatility of a stock market which simply won’t be stopped. It seems to be an ambivalent tribute, both admiring and condemning the aggressive finance and macho posturing of Wall St.
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