London's Mayor, Boris Johnson was on hand to give his critique of German contemporary artist, Katharina Fritsch's latest work 'Hahn/Cock' as it was unveiled on the 4th plinth on Thursday (July 25)
The giant blue cockerel was selected by the Forth Plinth Commissioning Group which was set-up by the London Mayor's office, when in 1999 it was decided that the empty plinth was to be used to exhibit temporary works of art after 150 years of being vacant.
Fritsch's giant blue cockerel was greeted with interest and smiles in Trafalgar Square as Johnson tried, but failed to resist any artistic interpretation.
"I think that this is one of those occasions when politicians have to resist any kind of artistic interpretation, don't you Ekow? That's the wise thing. I will not, I will not you know lapse into kind of, the kind of art criticism you'd expect from Finbarr Saunders and his double entendres and ask you how long this wonderful creature is going to stay up in the square or that kind of thing. Or indeed whether its meaning might be the, whether it symbolises French sporting pride for instance, brought from Paris after Chris Froome s victory in The Tour De France brought here to London. Or perhaps, does it perhaps serve as a hideous reminder of the, of the peril of genetically modified food or something like that. I don't know, I don't know what it stands for," the larger than life Mayor said.
The artist seemed bemused at the Mayor's critique of her work and the implication of it being a metaphor for the long standing rivalry between Britain and France.
"Oh I think you like the French, or not? Do you have a competition with France? No I don't think so. No! I think, I think, I know that it caused some trouble before but I think that really wasn't my intention to put a French cockerel onto Trafalgar Square."
'Hahn/Cock' is the ninth piece of art work to be displayed on the vacant plinth and is planned to remain in place for eighteen months.
Presented by Adam Justice