Saturday, 31 March 2018
The latest and in many ways the best occupant of the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square is this version of the Assyrian lamassu statue.
Best partly because its base dimensions match those of the vacant plinth, so it feels and looks right for its place, as also does its bulk and height, comparable to the equestrian figures for which such plinths were made; chiefly because of its implicit lament for the lost heritage of Syria owing to the current violence there.
The only issue is its orientation: so that the majesty of the sculpture can only be seen from a slightly awkward angle, looking up from the roadway to the west. The side facing into the square bears the explanatory inscription in red gilt cuneiform script - aesthetically pleasing but secondary and not informative in itself. The appropriate plinth, in the north-east corner of Trafalgar Square, is however not vacant, so this is where the tin-can lamassu must stand
As a great addition to the fourth plinth sequence. Looks better in afternoon sun, however - see further down