Page last updated at 13:25 GMT, Wednesday, 5 May 2010 14:25 UK

Sir Keith Park statue removed from Trafalgar Square

Statue of Sir Keith Park in Trafalgar Square
Sir Keith commanded RAF squadrons during 1940 Luftwaffe attacks

A statue of RAF hero Sir Keith Park has been taken down from the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square.

Sir Keith commanded RAF squadrons that defended London and the South East from World War II Luftwaffe attacks in 1940.

The 16.4ft (5m) tall glass-fibre sculpture had been on the plinth in central London for the past six months.

A permanent, bronze statue of Sir Keith will now be erected in Waterloo Place on the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain on 15 September 2010.

Campaigners originally called for a permanent statue of Sir Keith to be erected in Trafalgar Square.

'Key figure'

But mayor of London Boris Johnson, who supported the bid before his election, decided in June last year that the plinth would continue to be used predominantly for contemporary art.

Yinka Shonibare's Ship in a Bottle will be installed on the plinth later this month.

Terry Smith, Chairman of the Sir Keith Park Memorial Campaign, said: "Sir Keith Park was pivotal in organising the defence of our country and capital city during the Battle of Britain and was a key figure in ensuring the survival of our nation.

"The statue has been a fitting memorial to Park, situated prominently on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square, in the city which he helped to defend in 1940.

"Park's statue has fittingly sat beneath Nelson's Column - a memorial to another great commander who likewise defended Britain from invasion 135 years earlier."

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