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A pedestal (from French piédestal, Italian piedistallo 'foot of a stall') or plinth is a support at the bottom of a statue, vase, column, or certain altars. Smaller pedestals, especially if round in shape, may be called socles. In civil engineering, it is also called basement. The minimum height of the plinth is usually kept as 45 cm (for buildings). It transmits loads from superstructure to the substructure and acts as the retaining wall for the filling inside the plinth or raised floor.
In sculpting, the terms base, plinth, and pedestal are defined according to their subtle differences. A base is defined as a large mass that supports the sculpture from below. A plinth is defined as a flat and planar support which separates the sculpture from the environment. A pedestal, on the other hand, is defined as a shaft-like form that raises the sculpture and separates it from the base.
An elevated pedestal or plinth that bears a statue, and which is raised from the substructure supporting it (typically roofs or corniches), is sometimes called an acropodium. The term is from Greek ἄκρος ákros 'topmost' and πούς poús (root ποδ- pod-) 'foot'.