• Share
  • Tweet
  • Share

Alex Gardega came under fire Monday after briefly installing a statue of a urinating dog right next to the "Fearless Girl" statue that made her debut in March on International Women's Day.

The "Fearless Girl," who stands opposite the Wall Street "Charging Bull" statue in New York City's Financial District, has become a feminist symbol. Amid widespread backlash on social media, Gardega removed his "Sketchy Dog" statue at noon Monday, about three hours after he installed it.

Here's what some critics said on Twitter:

Fearless Girl Statue

Xinhua/Wang Ying via Getty Images

Gardega apologized Tuesday—sort of.

"I took it away personally," he told NBC 4 New York. "I didn't want to leave it to be taken and certainly had no rights to bolt it to the ground. Most people were amused or perplexed by it."

Gardega then mentioned Arturo Di Modica, who created the famous "Charging Bull" statue. "I have a lot of empathy for the creator of the bull, Arturo," he said. "I'm a pretty happy person, not seething or angry and certainly not anti-feminist. My piece is not without a sense of humor. There is plenty of room for 'Fearless Girl.' It just interferes with another artist's work/vision."

Insisting that he is "pro-feminism," Gardega argued that the "Fearless Girl" statue "has nothing to do with feminism," and it is "disrespect to the artist that made the bull." As he told The New York Post, "That bull had integrity." As for his own statue, he said, "I decided to build this dog and make it crappy to downgrade the statue, exactly how the girl is a downgrade on the bull."

(E! and NBC 4 New York are both members of the NBCUniversal family.)