On Saturday, a Texas man used an all metal banjo he had fabricated to vandalize the iconic Charging Bull, a bronze sculpture that has been on display in New York’s financial district since 1989. The bull was a gift to the US from Italian artist, Arturo Di Modica, and it has served as a monument to financial optimism in the US financial markets ever since.
The assailant has been identified as Tevon Varlick, a 42 year old truck driver from Dallas. No specific intent for his actions has been described, though he was said to have been playing Gospel music on a portable speaker during the attack, and had cursed President Trump with each swing of his banjo. He was also wearing a shirt emblazoned with “Let Us Not Forget The Ten Commandments.”
The Charging Bull has been the site of several previous incidents involving anti-capitalist protesters, including earlier attempts at defacement since it was installed.
Police have charged Varlick with fourth-degree criminal mischief and disorderly conduct, and prosecutors intend to seek restitution for repairs to the statue. Damage was relatively minor, primarily to the bull’s right horn, but restoration costs have been estimated to run as high as $150,000.
And just when the reputation of the banjo had been improving in the public eye…