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Arturo Di Modica (1941–2021), Wall Street’s “Charging Bull” sculptor

by Linnea Crowther

Arturo Di Modica was a sculptor known for his “Charging Bull,” which became a beloved landmark after he secretly placed it on Wall Street in the middle of the night.

Charging Bull

Di Modica was a native of Sicily, who came to New York City in 1970 and began building his career as a sculptor. Public art was a signature of his – he often worked outside his studio, crafting large bronze and marble works and leaving them on the sidewalk. In 1977, he dropped eight large marble sculptures at Rockefeller Center in the middle of the night, later receiving a small fine but ultimately selling all of the pieces.

Di Modica reprised the stunt in 1989 when, inspired by the 1987 stock market crash and wanting to celebrate the “strength and determination” of the American people as they recovered, he spent $350,000 of his own money to create the bronze sculpture “Charging Bull.” He dropped it outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in the middle of the night, arriving early the next morning to watch the public’s reaction to it. But the NYSE was not as charmed by the bull as the public was, and they had it removed. After public outcry – and after Di Modica paid another fine – the sculpture came back, placed nearby at Bowling Green. It remains there today, a symbol of the financial district where it stands.


Tributes to Arturo Di Modica

Full obituary: The New York Times

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