Wall Street's famous statue of a bull in Manhattan's financial district now has a twin brother in Amsterdam. But city officials say the the surprise bronze gift has to go.
On Wednesday night, Italian-American artist Arturo Di Modica had the 2.5-ton sculpture installed near Amsterdam's stock market building. Like the one he gave to the city of New York in 1989, the bull is a symbol of optimism in economic hard times.
And just as he had no permission from New York to place his bull near Wall Street, he did not bother asking Amsterdam City Hall for the necessary permits either.
No bull, no way
But unlike their counterparts in the Big Apple, city bureaucrats in Amsterdam have decided that the bull will have to be removed immediately.
In financial terminology, a "bull market" refers to an optimistic mood among investors and traders, which usually results in better performance on the exchange.
The bull near the New York Stock Exchange was allowed to stay and has become a tourist attraction. During the recent Occupy Wall Street protests, police were stationed at the statue to provide around the clock protection from vandals. The police have even taken on the unofficial role of photographers for tourists posing in front of the bronze sculpture.
"It may be intended as a funny move, but the statue must be removed as of today," Amsterdam officials are quoted as telling news agency ANP. "No permits were issued and on Friday there is an event planned on the square." Officials were not swayed by the fact that the bull in New York has been allowed to remain in place. ANP quoted a spokeswoman for the Amsterdam stock exchange as saying the sculpture "is beautiful, standing in the heart of the Dutch financial district."