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  Facelift flashback: Facelift assists with Fourth Plinth Cockerel Sculpture

Facelift flashback: Facelift assists with Fourth Plinth Cockerel Sculpture

2 September 2018 Email this article

This time five years ago we were tasked with the sort of job that you certainly don’t see very often…installing a 4.7 metre blue cockerel on a plinth in Trafalgar Square

To complete the job, we used a Nifty Heightrider 17 4X4 lifting platform. Capable of lifting two men and their tools to a working height of over 17m and with an outreach of 9.6 metres, this machine is also lightweight, meaning there was no damage to the pavement in the square.

Created by German sculptor Katharina Fritsch, the statue, named Hahn/Cock was one of several instalments on the square’s empty fourth plinth – as it is known – and unveiled by the then Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.

Discussing her sculpture, the artist said: "It is a feminist sculpture, since it is I who am doing something active here – I, a woman, am depicting something male. Historically it has always been the other way around. Now we are changing the roles. And a lot of men are enjoying that."

The cock was the latest in a long line of temporary sculptures to occupy the fourth plinth. Built in 1841, it was designed to hold an equestrian statue like the plinth in the north east corner of the square, which hosts a statue of George IV. However, the funding for the statue never materialised and the plinth remained empty. In 1998, the first in a series of temporary  sculptures was commissioned.