Blue cock in Trafalgar Square

Visitors to Trafalgar Square this summer will be able to gaze at a large blue cock by German artist Katharina Fritsch on the controversial fourth plinth.

Fritsch has claimed that the gigantic blue cockerel or rooster is a “victory for feminism” in a square dominated by male military heroes – Lord Nelson, victor of the battle of Trafalgar during the Napoleonic wars being the most famous.

The fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square is available for ever-changing public sculpture and has provoked numerous controversial world-class artworks since the project began eight years ago.

Originally the fourth plinth was designed in 1841 by Charles Barry to carry the usual equestrian figure but there was never enough money to complete the work.

The plinth remained empty until 1998 when the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce commissioned a series of three contemporary statues, by Mark Wallinger, Bill Woodrow and Rachael Whiteread, that caused so much public interest that London’s mayor Boris Johnson decided to continue the scheme.

Since then the plinth has hosted Marc Quinn’s Alison Lapper Pregnant (2005), Thomas Schütte’s Model for a Hotel (2007) Antony Gormley’s One and Other (2009), Yinka Shonibare’s Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle (2010) and Elmgreen & Dragset’s Powerless Structures, Fig 101 (2012).