Blue rooster on Trafalgar square

CNC report from London
Added On July 28, 2013

As London is ambitious about its Olympic legacy reuse, one of its other city constructions has aroused controversy.

A 4.7-meter-high blue rooster statue has descended on the Trafalgar Square.

But the art work has raised eyebrows... many question whether it's befitting to place a symbol of France in a site marking a famous British victory over Napoleon.

London mayor Boris Johnson unveiled the new bronze statue, named "Hahn/Cock", on Thursday.

The cockerel replaces the statue of the boy on a rocking horse, which had been on display since February 2012.

SOUNDBITE: JUSTINE SIMONS, Fourth Plinth Project Director
"Proud figure and so I think there's something about the pride of the cockerel and also the generals and the statues around the square that it's quite a playful and humorous story."

The cockerel's the latest artwork to stand on the "Fourth Plinth" of the London landmark, and will watch over the square for 18 months.

"I think it's great and I like the combination of the different statues and it fits."

But some people relate the blue rooster to the symbol of France, whose defeat by Britain at the battle of Trafalgar in 1805 gave the square its name.

"It would be more suitable for Disneyland. This is really the heart of London and saying this is it's the heart of our country. And I think though it's amusing it trivializes the fourth plinth. I think the fourth plinth should have something more historical or of contemporary sculpture or something of real worth that would last. I'm not sure if this is a permanent thing, but apart from it being a bit of fun I don't think it suits at all."

The fibreglass statue was sculpted by German artist Katharina Fritsch.

According to some reports, the 57-year-old artist said she did not know the cockerel was an unofficial symbol of France, and that she intended it to represent strength and regeneration.

The Fourth Plinth was originally built in the 1840s to display an equestrian statue of William IV, but remained empty due to insufficient funds.

Since 1998 the fourth plinth has been used to showcase temporary pieces of art.