Artists vie for Trafalgar Square spot

Six models of contemporary art, including a sculpture of a disabled pregnant woman, are on view at Britain's National Gallery, fighting it out for the honour of gracing the fourth and only empty plinth in London's Trafalgar Square.

    Six models are competing for the square's empty plinth

    While sculptures of Nelson Mandela and Princess Diana were suggested by the British public in a recent poll, people will now choose from entries ranging from a skyscraper to a car covered in white paint representing pigeon droppings. 

    "Nelson might have briefly shut his other eye in astonishment," The Daily Telegraph said on Friday. 

    A one-eyed sculpture of Britain's most famous naval commander, Lord Horatio Nelson, who defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, occupies the neighbouring plinth. 

    Working models of the six structures competing for a seat next to Nelson will be exhibited at the National Gallery until 8 February. 

    The Fourth plinth

    The Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group will take comments from the public before selecting one piece which will be displayed for a year to 18 months before another piece of art is selected.

    Equestrian statues of British Empire heroes occupy the three other corners of London's most famous square, one of Nelson, one of another 19th century general and another of King George IV. 

    But the fourth has stood empty since King William IV died in
    1837, without leaving enough funds to have his own statue erected. 


    Sculptures under consideration to fill the void include a
    skyscraper by American Chris Burden, and two oak missiles from Britain's Stefan Gec. 

    Fellow British sculptor Marc Quinn was the creator of an entry
    depicting a disabled pregnant woman, while two other submissions were inspired by the square's winged inhabitants, the pigeons.

    One of these is a a car covered in white paint and its creator,
    British artist Sarah Lucas, hopes the pigeons will contribute to the mess if it wins. 

    The other, by German artist Thomas Schutte is entitled Hotel
    for the Birds and is made out of Perspex.

    The final entry, from Nigerian-born Sokari Douglas Camp, is a
    stainless steel sculpture of marching people waving "No War" posters inspired by the recent anti-war demonstrations in London, many of which centred on Trafalgar Square.



    'Money can't buy us': Mapping Canada's oil pipeline battle

    'Money can't buy us': Mapping Canada's oil pipeline battle

    We travel more than 2,000km and visit communities along the route of the oil pipeline that cuts across Indigenous land.

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women married to ISIL fighters share accounts of being made to watch executions and strap explosives to other women.

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    The story of Ali Reza Monfared, the Iranian who tried to buy diplomatic immunity after embezzling millions of dollars.