Brazilians think the stock exchange bull market is unbearable and remove it

Many Brazilians were pessimistic about the new Wall Street-style bull sculpture outside the stock exchange, and it didn’t take long for it to collapse: the statue was dismantled a week after it was installed.

São Paulo-Many Brazilians were pessimistic about the new Wall Street-inspired bull sculpture outside the stock exchange, and it didn’t take long for it to collapse: the statue was demolished a week after it was installed.

Sao Paulo’s stock exchange had hoped to create a flashy landmark for this dilapidated city center. But its golden luster is offset by nearby tents for the homeless and the daily queues outside a major union, who are looking for work—any job.

By Tuesday night, it had disappeared.

Critics say that the metal and fiberglass sculptures at the entrance of the stock exchange in no way reflect Brazil’s current economic crossroads or near-term prospects, with high poverty and unemployment rates and double-digit inflation. Local media showed that poor Brazilians in several cities were so desperate for food that they rummaged in rejected meat scraps.

“It represents the strength and resilience of the Brazilian people,” Gilson Finkelsztain, CEO of the exchange, said at the opening ceremony on November 16. It is sponsored by the stock exchange and investor Paulo Spyer.

Spyer owns a consulting company called Vai Tourinho (“Go Little Bull” in Portuguese), and he says he is honored to “present gifts to all Brazilians.” Some locals are keen to take photos with this sculpture, which resembles a charging bull in Manhattan’s financial district.

But the celebration was quickly met with protests. The next day, more than a dozen students put stickers on the bull with “hungry”. After they moved away, SP Invisible, a non-profit organization that helped the poor, organized a barbecue next to the bull to provide food for the homeless. Both demonstrations caused widespread repercussions on social media.

“This bull shows that we are making some progress, but the opposite is true,” Vinicius Lima, one of the organizers of the non-profit organization, told reporters. “Beef prices are skyrocketing. Its cost is twice what it used to be. Fewer and fewer Brazilians can afford it. That’s why we are here.”

Last weekend, the sponsor of the bull tried to participate in the demonstration by asking tourists to bring donated food. Nevertheless, the bull continued to be scorched.

The city planning agency of the City Hall convened a meeting between the sponsors of the sculpture and the artists who made it. Its main objection to Golden Beasts is that the sponsor did not seek approval in advance, and apparently violated the law restricting outdoor display content. Sao Paulo restricts outdoor advertising.

“There are laws and they must be followed. Everyone must understand the laws before doing something,” said Viviane Rubio, an adviser to the city planning agency, at a meeting on Tuesday afternoon. “Before you put it there, you need to let us know,” she said.

Rafael Brancatelli, the creator, artist and architect of the Bull, expressed his confession.

“I am not trying to disrespect or surpass anyone’s mind. The lesson has been learned,” he said. “Another move, we will definitely look for you first.”

Under the order of the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange, a crane took the bull with its head and horns wrapped in plastic on Tuesday night.

Maria Gomes, who has worked in the area for 30 years, said on Wednesday that she was pleased with the removal of the sculpture. She initially thought it was an advertisement for a barbecue restaurant and considered it “ugly.” Despite this, she still feels that the Bulls may have been unfairly accused.

“This is a scapegoat,” said 67-year-old Gomez. “It’s gone now, and it feels better. But it’s actually the same degraded downtown a few years ago.”


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