The Fourth Plinth

When I took the picture I didn’t realize the sculpture was only temporary. It was early 2017 and it was my first viist to Trafalgar Square in (I think) 30 years.

I didn’t remember having seen the giant thumb before – but it is possible in 1986 I didn’t want to waste film on it. I am a much less discriminating photographer in this digital age.

Looking online though, I discover that my memory was correct, that Really Good had only been in place a few months when I took the photo and has now been replaced. What I had never noticed was an empty statue base (plinth) in the square. After sitting empty for more than 150 years, it is now a place for temporary artwork.

It does seem funny that for more than a century the powers that be were unable to decide what sort of permanent memorial should be erected on the site. Maybe they wanted to get it right.

Which is rather amusing when you think of it. There are three permanent statues at the other corners of Trafalgar Square. Do these names ring a bell?

George IV. Yes, he was King of England, but why memorialize him with a statue in such a prominent loacation?

Henry Havelock. I could look him up, but offhand I have no idea who he was. The same holds true of the third statue, Charles James Napier. I guess my knowledge of British history isn’t that good.

Given that, if I were to have a say in the matter, I would keep the existing policy of temporarily showcasing contemporay sculptures. That would provide a bit of variety – and is probably more interesting than yet another tribute to a dead politician.

After all, the current piece of art on the fourth plinth represents a dollop of whipped cream. Isn’t that more appealing? Can I get a thumbs up or thumbs down to the idea?


One comment

  1. If that were in Canada, good chance that the temporary display is the only one that would remain after a year or so…. I am getting very tired of the cancel culture and the ignorance behind most of it.

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