Leading Article: Gods for a day

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The Independent Culture
IS THERE no end to the lengths to which Buckingham Palace will now go to popularise itself? Instant messages of sympathy for Jill Dando, tea and cake with an ordinary family in Scotland and, yesterday, the sight of the Queen unveiling a statue to Eric Morecambe.

No harm in that. At least the citizens of Morecambe know whom they wish to commemorate, unlike those of London who are still unsure how to use the vacant plinth in Trafalgar Square. But maybe Londoners have a point.

The problem of public monuments is not a lack of heroes. The difficulty is dignifying the dead when our whole culture favours the live and young. So why not cover our city squares with vacant plinths, on which we can place temporary statues to the gods of our day? A change in ratings, and their occupants could be instantly removed. And the Queen could unveil a new one each week.

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