NEW YORK • A sculpture installed temporarily in New York to champion gender diversity is so popular that thousands have signed a petition demanding it remain permanently.
Called "Fearless Girl" and created by American artist Kristen Visbal, the bronze girl stands with hands on hips and chin jutting out, challenging the famous "Charging Bull" statue that is a symbol of Wall Street.
It was installed on March 7 by investment company State Street Global Advisors, on the eve of International Women's Day, to create awareness of the need for greater gender diversity on company boards.
The statue was supposed to stay for only a week, but the day after its installation, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that it would remain until April 2.
"Our statue has taken her place for all of Wall Street to see - a place where corporate America cannot help but notice her," wrote Ms Jill Mavro, head of strategic relations for State Street, in a blog post.
A petition calling for the installation to be made permanent has more than 17,600 supporters.
A spokesman for State Street confirmed it was in talks with city officials about leaving the statue in place. "We're thrilled with the strong support that the public has shown," she said.