Trafalgar Square’s fourth plinth

I suppose it may be boring to blog about a slab of stone, but there’s something about the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square that I find interesting.

A plinth, for those who don’t know (I had to look it up), is a heavy base that supports a statue. Trafalgar Square in London has four plinths. Three of the plinths support permanent statues of national heroes. The fourth plinth is empty. So it has become famous in its own right. It even has its own Wikipedia page.

The fourth plinth was originally supposed to have an equestrian statue of William IV on it, but they ran out of money, so the plinth stayed empty. Eventually (a little more than a decade ago), they decided that the fourth plinth would display an ever-changing series of modern art works. I think this is a great idea. It’s like the other three plinths are honoring the past, while the fourth plinth always has an eye to the present and future. Right now it has a big ship in a bottle.

This week they announced the sculptures that will be up on the fourth plinth in 2012 and 2013. In 2012 it will be a statue of a boy on a rocking horse. And in 2013 it will be a large blue cockerel (otherwise known as a cock, which has been giving people all over the world the chance to crack jokes).

Anyone taking a trip to London will surely visit Trafalgar Square, a hugely popular meeting place right in the heart of the city. Be sure to check out the fourth plinth.

Photo: Rob Young via Flickr (CC)

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