Armless sculpture chosen for Trafalgar's plinth

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A sculpture of a pregnant, armless woman will be the next work of art on the empty fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square, to be followed by a coloured plastic hotel for its pigeons.

A sculpture of a pregnant, armless woman will be the next work of art on the empty fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square, to be followed by a coloured plastic hotel for its pigeons.

Alison Lapper Pregnant by Marc Quinn, whose sculptures have been shown at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and Hotel for the Birds by Thomas Schütte, a German artist, were chosen from a shortlist of six.

It was thought that only one work would be chosen, but the committee appointed by the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, decided the selection process was so time-consuming it should choose two.

The rejected proposals included Sarah Lucas's car painted as though covered in pigeon droppings and a work paying tribute to the square's tradition of political protest by Sokari Douglas Camp. The Greater London Authority and Arts Council, which invested £160,000 in the maquettes and public consultation, will hope to raise about £300,000 from private sponsorship to make and install the full-scale sculptures.

It is hoped that Mr Quinn's work will be mounted in spring 2005 for a year to 18 months with Mr Schütte's sculpture installed in summer 2006. The fourth plinth has been empty since the last round of commissions, between 1999 and 2001, which concluded with Rachel Whiteread's Monument in May 2001.

Jon Snow, the broadcaster and a committee member, said: "The selection of two works will jump-start the programme and put clear plans in place."

Sandy Nairne, the director of the National Portrait Gallery and the committee's chairman, said the selected works had "extraordinary artistic value".

Colin Tweedy, chief executive of the Arts and Business organisation, said: "None of the entries had the grace needed for this location." He suggested a statue to Gaius Maecenas, the father of arts philanthropy.

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