Page last updated at 08:23 GMT, Tuesday, 29 April 2008 09:23 UK

WWII planes back RAF hero statue

Artist's impression of the model of Sir Keith Park
Sir Keith commanded RAF squadrons during 1940 Luftwaffe attacks

A Spitfire and Hurricane are being used to highlight a campaign to honour a Battle of Britain hero with a statue in London's Trafalgar Square.

The World War II aircraft will be flown into Biggin Hill Airport, following a German Messerschmitt fighter plane.

Campaigners want Sir Keith Park honoured on the square's fourth plinth, currently reserved for modern art.

Sir Keith commanded RAF squadrons which defended London and the South East from Luftwaffe attacks in 1940.

Battle of Britain pilots are expected to greet the aircraft as they arrive on Tuesday morning.

MPs' support

Last month supporters unveiled a scaled-down model of the planned sculpture, which shows New Zealander Sir Keith in an RAF pilot's uniform.

At least 1,200 people have signed an online petition since the campaign was launched.

A cross-party Parliamentary motion has also received signatures of support from 36 MPs.

London Mayor Ken Livingstone said he supported a memorial to Sir Keith but the use of the plinth for modern art should continue.

Sandy Nairne, Chair of the Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group, said: "There are many other options across London for locating an important memorial to Sir Keith Park and identifying the most appropriate one will have my strong support."


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