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'Fearless Girl' artist faces lawsuit over selling replicas

By
Darryl Coote
The company that commissioned the Fearless Girl statue is suing its creator for breach of contract for selling replicas of the famous piece of corporate art. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
The company that commissioned the "Fearless Girl" statue is suing its creator for breach of contract for selling replicas of the famous piece of corporate art. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 21 (UPI) -- The investment firm that commissioned the famous "Fearless Girl" statue in New York is suing its creator for alleged breach of contract and copyright infringement, according to court documents.

In the court filings dated Feb. 14, State Street Global Advisors alleges artist Kristen Visbal is "weakening and adulterating the 'Fearless Girl' message" by selling unauthorized copies of the statue for profit.

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The Boston-based company says that Visbal has broken her contract by selling replicas of the Wall Street statue to Maurice Blackburn & Co., a law firm in Australia, and to The Grand Hotel Olso, in Oslo, Norway.

She also broke her contract when she allowed a replica of the statue to be used in the January Women's March in Los Angeles, despite SSGA rejecting her written request to do so.

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"The full extent of Visbal's actions and breach is unknown - mainly because she and her counsel have rebuffed all of SSGA's attempts to communicate," the company said in the court filing.

The statue was first unveiled March 8, International Woman's Day, 2017, and within 12 hours it had garnered over 1 billion Twitter impression and it became a "symbol of courage and change." 


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The company states that "Fearless Girl" is more than a statue, it is a "global campaign" of corporate change in support of gender diversity and women leadership In board rooms.

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"SSGA has poured its 'heart and soul' into 'Fearless Girl' and the important ideas it represents," it said, adding that "the delivery of Visbal's replica into the hands of unauthorized buyers will cause substantial and irreparable harm to 'Fearless Girl' and her message, as well as SSGA, its reputation and its rights."

In the court filing, SSGA said they've had little to no contact with the artist over its concerns. However, SSGA said that Visbal blamed the alleged breach of contract at the women's march in Los Angles on the company not responding to her request to use a replica fast enough.

The company said it is suing Visbal to request the "court's help to protect this valuable message."

The investment firm is seeking injunctive relief, damages and reimbursement of its fees and costs.

This is the second lawsuit to be leveled recently at the Delaware-based artist.

The U.S. Coast Guard Academy Alumni Association claimed Visbal failed to produce a 9-foot bronze statue of Alexander Hamilton, which was intended as a gift for the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., Fox 5 Reported.

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She agreed to the $28,000 commission in Feb. 2017, about a month before "Fearless Girl" was unveiled.

The alumni association terminated its contract in 2018 and demanded a refund, and is now suing her for the refund and other fees.

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