Horse takes over fourth plinth at Trafalgar Square

Hans Haacke's skeleton sculpture to replace giant blue cockerel

Britain Fouth Plinth jorse

A horse skeleton complete with a ticker tape showing stock exchange prices is the latest work of art about to be unveiled on Trafalgar Square's fourth plinth.

The work, by German artist Hans Haacke, will replace the giant blue cockerel that previously sat on the plinth.

Haacke, whose work is based on an etching by equestrian artist George Stubbs, said he wanted it to fit in with the other more traditional sculptures in the square. Words: PA

He said: "I hope the other two horses on Trafalgar Square, the one carrying Charles I, strutting, and the other, with George IV on its back, rather stoic, accept the newcomer graciously and recognise that their temporary companion has a lot to talk about."

Haacke said he also hoped visitors would be "intrigued by what the ticker of the London Stock Exchange tells them about their fortunes".

The plinth, in the north west corner of the square, was built in 1841 to hold an equestrian statue of King William IV but the money ran out and it was left empty.

Horse takes over fourth plinth at Trafalgar Square

Three works were commissioned in 1998 to fill the plinth, with Mark Wallinger's Christ-like figure Ecce Homo the first to be displayed there in 1999.

Lois Rowe, programme director of fine art at Wimbledon College of Art at the University of the Arts London, said the plinth had made a real difference to how people in the capital view art.

She said: "Like the Tate's turbine hall, the fourth plinth attracts a new audience for art that isn't simply made up of people who go to art galleries. It has, in a way, broken down some of those cultural barriers around who looks at art and those who are capable of engaging with it.

"This is a very exciting thing for London and I think, more globally, other cities should be looking at the fourth plinth as leading in this way."

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