SAO PAULO,-- Brazilians were worried about the Wall Street-inspired bull sculpture that was placed outside the stock exchange. They didn't wait long to see it crash. The statue was removed a week later.
The stock exchange of Sao Paulo had hoped that it would give the city a new landmark. However, the glitter was offset by the presence of tents for the homeless nearby and the line outside a major trade association for people looking for work -- any job.
It was gone Tuesday night.
Critics claimed that the fiberglass and metal sculptures at the stock exchange's gates do not reflect Brazil's current economic situation or near-term prospects. With poverty high, unemployment high, and inflation in double digits, critics said. Local media has shown that poor Brazilians are so hungry in many cities that they will rummage through leftover meat scraps.
Gilson Finkelsztain (the exchange's CEO) said that it "represents the strength and resilience of the Brazilian people" at the Nov. 16 unveiling. It was sponsored and funded by Paulo Spyer, a stock exchange investor.
Spyer, who runs a consulting firm called "Vai Tourinho", said that he was honored by the opportunity to give "a gift for all Brazilians." The sculpture, which looks like the "Charging Bull", in Manhattan's financial district, is also owned by Spyer.
Protests quickly followed the celebration. A dozen students placed stickers reading "HUNGER" next day on the bull's body. SP Invisible, a nonprofit organization that aids the poor, removed the stickers and organized a barbecue for homeless people. Both demonstrations were widely shared on social media.
The bull's sponsors tried to co-opt demonstrations over the weekend by asking people to donate food. The bull was still being roasted.
The City Hall's urban planning committee summoned the sculpture's creator and its sponsors for a meeting. The main problem with the golden beast was its sponsors' lack of approval. Also, it violated a law restricting outdoor displays. Outdoor advertising is prohibited in Sao Paulo.
"There is a law, and everyone must follow it." Viviane Rubio was an advisor to the urban planning body and spoke Tuesday afternoon. She said, "You had to inform us before you put it there."
Rafael Brancatelli (the bull's creator and artist) expressed sorrow.
"I was not trying to be disrespectful of anyone's heads. He said, "The lesson has been learnt." "We will definitely look for you in another initiative."
A crane removed the bull Tuesday night under orders from Sao Paulo’s stock exchange. It wrapped its head and horns in plastic.
Maria Gomes, a 30-year resident of the area, stated Wednesday that she was happy to see the sculpture removed. She initially believed it was an advertisement for a barbecue restaurant, but she later felt the bull was unfairly blamed.
Gomes, 67, said that it was a "scapebull". It feels much better now that it is gone. It is the same city center that was degraded years ago.