Leading article: Changing spaces

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The Independent Online

A new offensive has been launched in the long-running battle to conquer the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square. A full-size replica of a Spitfire was deployed yesterday as the advance guard of a group wanting to erect a statue of Sir Keith Park, who commanded Battle of Britain pilots defending London and the South-east. The mayor, Ken Livingstone, diplomatically promised to support efforts to identify another site.

In this we incline to support the mayor. The fourth plinth has accommodated a variety of works, which have variously delighted, shocked, irritated and intrigued Londoners and visitors to the capital. If there is a theme, it is the contrast between the new arrival and the rest.

At a time when the quality of Britain's public art is being lambasted, the fourth plinth offers a rare chance to combine permanence and renewal. So long as leading artists want to offer their works, we will relish the changing show.

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