Bull's creator will oversee repairs after vandal's attack

A visitor at the popular lower Manhattan sculpture “Charging Bull” poses for a photo next to the sculpture’s damaged horn on Sunday in New York.

NEW YORK — The artist who created New York’s Charging Bull sculpture will oversee repairs to the gash left when a vandal attacked the bronze statue with an imitation banjo, the head of a business group said Tuesday.

Artist Arturo Di Modica will travel from his studio in Sicily at the end of the month to supervise repairs to the 7,100-pound bull, which stands in Manhattan’s financial district, Bowling Green Alliance chairman Arthur Piccolo said.

Police say 42-year-old Tevon Varlack, of Texas, bashed the bull Saturday with an imitation metal banjo as a horrified crowd watched. The attack left the beast with a gash at the base of its right horn.

Witnesses said Varlack was cursing President Donald Trump as he struck the statue.

Varlack was charged with criminal mischief and disorderly conduct. He is being represented by the Legal Aid Society, which declined to comment.

Piccolo said the upstate New York foundry Polich Tallix has been retained to repair the statue, which Di Modica installed in 1989 as a gift to America.

Di Modica, who still owns the statue, will pay for the repairs, which he estimated would cost about $15,000, Piccolo said.

“The damage could have been a lot worse,” Piccolo said. “It seems manageable.”

Di Modica has said he created the bull, a symbol of strength and power, in response to the 1987 stock market crash. It soon became a powerful tourist draw although it was a work of guerrilla art not initially sanctioned by New York City officials.

“It’s appalling that it’s been damaged,” said Graham Peacock, of Manchester, England, who was visiting the bull Tuesday.

The bull, the symbol of a rising market, was deposited in front of the New York Stock Exchange on Dec. 15, 1989. It was impounded by the city but later installed two blocks south of its original site at Bowling Green.

It had a neighbor from March 2017 to November 2018 when Kristen Visbal’s Fearless Girl statue faced it. The 4-foot girl statue, commissioned by financial firm State Street Global Advisors, was relocated to a spot in front of the stock exchange in December 2018.

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