New Trafalgar Sq Fourth Plinth artists revealed

Michael Rakowitz, an American of Iraqi-Jewish descent will recreate sculpture destroyed by Daesh from museum for Fourth Plinth



Michael Rakowitz is one of two artists to be commissioned to produce a work of art to be displayed on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square.

The American of Iraqi-Jewish descent will recreate the Lamassu, a winged bull and protective deity that stood at the entrance to Nergal Gate of Nineveh from c 700 BCE.

In 2015 it was destroyed by Daesh along with other artefacts in Mosul Museum.

Mr Rakowitz’s version of the Lamassu will be made of empty Iraqi date syrup cans, representative of a once-renowned industry decimated by the Iraq wars.

The work is part of an ongoing project called The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist begun by Mr Rakowitz in 2006 that attempts to recreate over 7,000 archeological artefacts looted from the Iraq Museum during the war or destroyed in its aftermath.

Based in Chicago, his interest in the west's relationship with Iraq has consistently defined his work.

During a previous projects on Iraqi-Jewish restaurants, in which he showcased his grandparents recipes, Mr Rakowitz reminisced about an era when  “Muslims went outside to protect their Jewish neighbours”.

The artwork currently occupying the fourth plinth, David Shrigley's Really Good, will be displayed until March 2018 when it will be replaced by Lamussu. The other artwork is The End by Heather Phillipson, a sculpture portraying a whirl of cream topped with a cherry, parasites and a drone.

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