"Totally inappropriate" giant blue cock on Fourth Plinth arouses fury

Feathers have been ruffled by a proposal to install a large blue cockerel on Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth.

The bird, called Hahn, is 4.7m tall and has been designed by German artist Katharina Fritsch. She said the cockerel, which could be coming to roost on July 20 until February 2015, was “a rude or welcome interruption to the grey formal architecture of the square.”

However, conservationists have rallied in opposition, telling Westminster City Council in their consultation that the proposed cock is “totally inappropriate, however fanciful and dramatic it might appear to be.”

Writing to council officials, the Thorney Island Society dismissed the cock as a “feeble distraction” that is “unrelated to the context of Trafalgar Square.” The group suggested that another venue like Leicester Square or St James’s Park would be preferable.

“We cannot see any logical reason for the proposed sculpture to be placed on the fourth plinth,” wrote society chairman Jane Stubbs.

How Hahn could look on the Fourth Plinth

How Hahn could look on the Fourth Plinth

Westminster City Council’s planning committee said they had noted the conservationists’ concerns in its report but stressed that “any perceived harm” to the area would be “temporary and offset by the public interest resulting from the contribution the sculpture will make to public art in Westminster.”

Irrespective of the concerns raised during the consultation process, council officials have granted conditional permission for the cock to be erected on the plinth, although this is subject to backing from English Heritage.

A spokesperson for the Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group said plans to install the piece had been announced two years ago.

“Katharina is a highly praised contemporary artist with an international reputation and the presence of this exciting work on the fourth plinth further underpins London’s status as a world city for culture.

“The fourth plinth is hugely popular with Londoners and tourists alike and we are pleased that it continues to generate debate.”

You need to read…

Exclusive: Interview with Affordable Art Fair founder

Will business rescue London’s arts scene?

ArtMan: To Google or to Gallery?

ArtMan: We 3 Kings - invest in art for Christmas

More for you, from us:

The London Business Summit: Thriving in London, Tuesday 25 June 2013
Discover opportunity, explore innovation, drive long-term profits 
Speakers include Martha Lane Fox, Alastair Lukies, Julie Meyer, Mike Butcher, Jo Valentine and many more.

The LondonlovesExcellence Awards Gala Dinner: Tuesday 25 June 2013, from 7pm
London’s most important business gala
Network with London’s greatest businesses. Judges include Karren Brady, Willie Walsh, Michelle Mone, Luke Johnson and 15 others.

READ ONLINE NOW: Securing Britain’s Future
How London’s business leaders would safeguard our economic future
Boris Johnson, Martha Lane Fox, Doug Richard, Xavier Rolet and more than 25 other CEOs and entrepreneurs share their insights.

Register for our free newsletter
For up-to-the-minute insights, news and gossip for London professionals and business leaders

Readers' comments (1)

  • Campaign started to rename the sculpture as the Dorking Cockerel. http://mydorking.com/dorking-cock/giant-cock-on-fourth-plinth-in-trafalgar-square-should-be-called-the-dorking-cockerel/

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Social Bookmarks