Unusual Sculpture Celebrates Nelson’s Legacy In Trafalgar Sq

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London's Trafalgar Square sees the unveiling of a giant ship in a bottle. London Mayor Boris Johnson unveils the latest sculpture to adorn Trafalgar Square.

HMS Victory is the longest serving battle ship in the British fleet. Her proudest moment came in 1805 when at her helm Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson led his navy to victory over the Franco-Spanish fleet in the Battle of Trafalgar.

On Monday the empty fourth plinth in London's Trafalgar Square celebrated Nelson's achievements as a representation of his famous vessel was unveiled. This was, however, no ordinary replica. This 4.7 by 2.8 metre scale model is a giant ship in a bottle, and it sits under the watchful eye of Nelson's statue atop his famous column.

London's Mayor Boris Johnson was on hand to unveil the epic work of art.


This latest commission for the plinth was created by Nigerian-born artist Yinka Shonibare and unveiled on the eve of Africa Day. The piece was commissioned to reflect on the historical significance of Trafalgar Square, and to bring a contemporary perspective to this chapter in British history.


[Yinka Shonibare, Artist]: (English, male)
''So I was thinking about Nelson's achievements and also the legacy of Nelson. Of course if you look around you in London now it's a very global, multi-cultural city, a very dynamic, creative city. Part of that is a result of Nelson's legacy, so when the British did win that battle they had more contact with the rest of the world and so hence the city you've got today.''

As the sun shone down passers-by were intrigued by the new addition to this popular tourist attraction.


The more traditional plinth incumbents are statues of King George IV and military leaders such as General Napier. In such distinguished company Nelson's Ship in a Bottle makes a sharp contrast and brings a contemporary breath of fresh air to this famous landmark.

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