Arts: Sculptures to be put in Trafalgar

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The Independent Culture
Plans to exhibit some of the best of British sculpture on an empty plinth in London's Trafalgar Square were unveiled yesterday.

The Royal Society of Arts wants five different works to be commissioned or selected for display on the site for up to a year each.

The five sculptures will represent a range of schools or styles of sculpture, from existing bronze to recent developments and contemporary work, and will include one Victorian sculpture, one recent sculpture and three new sculpture commissions.

The plan was outlined by Prue Leith, the cookery expert and writer, who now chairs the RSA.

She said: "Because people feel so strongly about art, there are passionate advocates for works from traditional bronze equestrians to cutting-edge contemporary installations.

But our solution - which is to erect a series of works from different traditions (both existing sculptures and new commissions) in a five-year series on the plinth - has the support of the public and of the various bodies with an interest in Trafalgar Square.

"We are trying to put five great works of art, one at a time, on that single plinth - a plinth which has been empty for 150 years, ever since it was built, because no one could agree on what should go there."

The total cost of the RSA initiative, which has to be approved by the Department of National Heritage and Westminster Council, will be in the region of pounds 1.5m.

The RSA has applied for National Lottery money.