Tu Guangshao (left), deputy mayor of Shanghai, unveils the charging bull at the Bund Financial Square on Saturday. (China Daily)
BEIJING, May 17 -- The long-awaited Shanghai version of the Wall Street bull, an iconic symbol in the finance arena, was unveiled on Saturday at the newly-opened Bund Financial Square.
The same size as its Wall Street counterpart, the Shanghai bull is 2.5 meters in height and 3.3 meters in length. However, the Shanghai version's weight is nearly double, hitting 6,000 kg, according to Auturo di Modica, an Italian-American sculptor who made the bronze charging bulls for both New York and Shanghai.
"Unlike the Wall Street one with head turning to the left, this Shanghai version of charging bull is turning its head to the right," he said. "This is what a young bull full of energy and aspiration looks like. The bull is a younger brother to the one in New York City."
Di Modica created the Wall Street bull following the 1987 stock market crash to symbolize the "strength and power of the American people" and he says the new Shanghai bull symbolizes the strength and power of China.
"If you observe the tail of the bull, the tail is spirally pointing to the sky, meaning a uplifting financial trend," he said.
The 63-year-old sculptor said he visited Shanghai in 2009. "At that time, the world's economic situation was not that positive. I wanted to make something that would bring good luck to Shanghai and China," Di Modica said.
He said the color of the Shanghai bull is red instead of the bronze of the New York bull, because the color symbolizes power and passion in Chinese culture.
But why is it a bull, rather than some other creature associated with China, such as a dragon or a phoenix?
"In Chinese culture, a bull symbolizes perseverance, diligence and wealth. A bull used to be the earliest object for barter and a prototype of the earliest currencies", said Fang Xinghai, director of the Shanghai financial service office. "I hope the bull at the Bund will witness the growing and thriving financial market in Shanghai and in China."