• Germany edition
 
Huge German cockerel lands in London
Photo: DPA

Huge German cockerel lands in London

Published: 26 Jul 2013 11:17 GMT+02:00
Updated: 26 Jul 2013 11:17 GMT+02:00

Standing 4.7 metres tall and coloured a vivid ultramarine, the fibreglass rooster was sculpted by German artist Katharina Fritsch and will watch over the famous square for 18 months.

Fritsch, 57, has said she did not know the cockerel was an unofficial French symbol, and that she intended it to represent strength and regeneration. "But it's a nice humorous side-effect to have something French in a place that celebrates victory over Napoleon," she told the Guardian newspaper, adding: "He has come back as a cockerel!"

Titled Hahn/Cock, it was officially unveiled by London's Mayor Boris Johnson – who said he would try to refrain from making any rude "double entendres" about the erection of a giant cockerel at the London landmark.

"I just had an emergency briefing from the brilliant artist, Katharina," he joked.

"She said it was all to do with a woman's rendition of a man... or something like that. I think it's one of those occasions where politicians have to resist any kind of artistic interpretation."

It is the latest artwork to stand on the tourist hotspot's "Fourth Plinth".

Trafalgar Square is named after the victory of the British Royal Navy over the French and Spanish fleets at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, a key conflict in the Napoleonic Wars.

The cockerel will be sited on the other side of the square from Nelson's Column, a monument commemorating the English naval hero Admiral Horatio Nelson, who was killed during the battle.

A group of conservationists had tried to get the bird banned from the square, saying it was "totally inappropriate, however fanciful and dramatic it might appear to be".

There are four large stone plinths at each corner of Trafalgar Square, three of which bear statues. The fourth was supposed to hold a statue of a horse commissioned in 1841, but due to insufficient funds it was never completed.

Since 1998 the fourth plinth has been used to showcase temporary pieces of art, and has so far hosted works including a giant ship in a bottle and a huge nude statue of the English artist Alison Lapper, who was born without arms, during her pregnancy.

AFP/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Berlin slams Italy Nazi claims court ruling
Italy's National Partisans' Association welcomed the court decision. Photo: DPA

Berlin slams Italy Nazi claims court ruling

Italy's constitutional court has ruled that victims of Nazi-era war crimes can sue Germany in Italian courts, rejecting a UN ruling and provoking a strong reaction from Berlin on Friday. READ  

Expats reveal another side of Berlin Wall
Photo: Paul Sullivan

Expats reveal another side of Berlin Wall

Two expats who walked the Mauerweg - the 160-kilometre trail that runs the length of the former Berlin Wall - have written a book about forgotten aspects of its past and present. READ  

Karstadt closes six stores to stay afloat
Photo: DPA

Karstadt closes six stores to stay afloat

Germany's biggest department store chain Karstadt will close at least six stores, putting around 2,000 jobs at risk, in a drastic bid by its new boss to return it to profit. READ  

Quiz
How well do you know Germany?
Photos: DPA/Shutterstock

How well do you know Germany?

Do you know your Saxony facts from your Saxony-Anhalt ones? Test your knowledge of Germany's federal states in The Local's quiz. READ  

Climate chief hails Bonn greenhouse gas deal
Pollution from a coal-fired power station in Frimmersdorf, North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA

Climate chief hails Bonn greenhouse gas deal

The UN's climate chief hailed a European agreement in Bonn on greenhouse gases on Friday as providing "valuable momentum" for a world pact to be inked in Paris next year. READ  

Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth
Photo: DPA

Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth

Germany will get an early Christmas present of around €779 million from the EU, thanks to weaker than expected GDP growth. READ  

Stay inside after blast, Ludwigshafen told
Photo: DPA

Stay inside after blast, Ludwigshafen told

It will take several days to find out what caused a massive explosion on Thursday which rocked a town on the Rhine, killing a builder and injuring 26 others. READ  

German helicopter fleet 'not fit for Nato'
An NH90 helicopter. Photo: DPA

German helicopter fleet 'not fit for Nato'

Germany's fleet of NH90 helicopters is undergoing engineering checks after one of them suffered a serious engine failure, in the latest blow to the country's military capabilities. READ  

Ex-boss of Berlin Airport farce gets €1.2m
Rainer Schwarz at a court hearing in September into the case. Photo: DPA

Ex-boss of Berlin Airport farce gets €1.2m

The man who was blamed for Berlin's miserable attempt to build a new airport must be paid more than €1 million - after being fired. READ  

Steinmeier challenges UN over Isis gas reports
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Kurds watching the attack on Kobane. Photo: DPA

Steinmeier challenges UN over Isis gas reports

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier pressed UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon to bring possible poison gas use by Isis in Iraq before the Security Council. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Politics
Satirist lives the dream on EU gravy train
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: Huge explosion rocks Ludwigshafen
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
Which high school cliche is your German city?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Storm hits southern Germany
Sponsored Article
An international school unlike any other : School on the Rhine
Photo: Fitzpatrick family
Society
'We still don't know what happened to Matthew'
Photo: Mariana Schroeder
Munich
Special Report: Hope and chaos at Munich's refugee shelters
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,525
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd