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Wall Street bull sculptor Arturo Di Modica dies at 80




The sculptor lived in New York for more than 40 years in New York. He arrived in 1973 and opened an art studio in the city’s SoHo district. Using a truck and a crane, Di Modica installed the bronze bull sculpture in New York’s financial district without permission on the night of December 16, 1989.

The artist reportedly spent $ 350,000 of his own money to create the 3.5-ton bronze beast that symbolized the resilience of the US economy after the 1987 stock market crash.

It was a time of crisis. The New York Stock Exchange lost more than 20% overnight and so many people were plunged into the darkest of lows, Di Modica, quoted by the Roman daily La Repubblica, said in an interview earlier this month.

He said he designed the sculpture of the bull as a joke, a provocation. Instead, it became a damn serious thing, destined to be one of New York’s most visited landmarks.

In the interview with La Repubblica, Di Modica detailed how he, about 40 friends, a crane and a truck carried out a lightning-fast operation to plant the statue near Bowling Green Park, a short walk from the headquarters of the New York Stock Exchange, without official authorization.

Five minutes. The operations should not have taken longer. Otherwise, we risk big, he recalls. After a few scouting trips, I discovered that at night, the police made their rounds on Wall Street every 7 to 8 minutes.

When the sculptor and his friends arrived at the chosen location, they were surprised to see that a Christmas tree had been erected there. They put down the bronze bull anyway and, as the artist says, uncorked a bottle of champagne.

Di Modica left Vittoria, Sicily, at 19 for Florence, where he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts.

At the time of his death, he was working on prototypes for a twin horse sculpture that he was planning to make for the Sicilian city. It was envisioned as a work 40 meters high (132 feet high) to be erected on the banks of a river.

The city declared Monday, when Di Modicas’ funeral will be held at the Church of St. John the Baptist in Vittorias, as the official day of mourning.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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