A recreation of a protective deity destroyed by Islamic State in Iraq has been unveiled on Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth – rebuilt with date cans.
The sculpture, titled The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist, is the work of Michael Rakowitz, who is Jewish.
Lamassu, a winged bull which guarded the entrance to the Nergal Gate of Nineveh from 700BC, has been remade out of empty, date syrup cans, from Iraq.
The deity was destroyed, along with other artefacts in the Mosul Museum, by terror group IS in 2015.
US artist Rakowitz said: “This work is unveiled in Trafalgar Square at a time when we are witnessing a massive migration of people fleeing Iraq and Syria.
“I see this work as a ghost of the original and as a placeholder for those human lives that cannot be reconstructed, that are still searching for sanctuary.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “Michael’s work shows the power of art to bring to life politics, cultures and personal stories from around the world and across generations.”
The sculpture is the 12th to adorn the Fourth Plinth.