Flash mob protest in Tower Hamlets in bid to save Henry Moore’s ‘Old Flo’

22:04 12 November 2012

Old Flos and a Henry Moore lookalike protest outside Tower Hamlets Town Hall.

Old Flos and a Henry Moore lookalike protest outside Tower Hamlets Town Hall.

Archant

A ‘flash’ protest mob turned up at Tower Hamlets Town Hall today to protest against the proposed sale of Henry Moore’s Old Flo sculpture.

The protest took place this afternoon. Picture: Isabel InfantesThe protest took place this afternoon. Picture: Isabel Infantes

Mayor Lutfur Rahman has put the 8ft bronze artwork, Draped Seated Woman, up for auction at Christie’s, in the face of a public outcry.

Figures from the art world turned up outside the council offices in east London, many dressed as ‘Old Flo’ draped in shawls sitting on the ground.

A pipe-smoking Henry Moore lookalike even turned up, American artist Jessica Voorsanger, to express her anger.

The flash protest was ‘sparked’ by lecturer Bob Smith from the London Met University’s Cass art school in Whitechapel.

He said: “It’s madness to sell this sculpture. Moore took his inspiration from his drawings of people down the air-raid shelters during the Blitz.

“That image is so tied up with the East End’s wartime air-raid shelter disaster at Bethnal Green.

“Hitler tried to destroy the East End, while after the war artists like Moore and architects were rebuilding it.

“The vision and foresight of previous generations should not be dismantled and sold off to cover the ineptitude of the Town Hall.”

He now plans a campaign to urge auction houses not to accept the sculpture for sale—and might even plan a ‘flash’ protest if an auction goes ahead.

But Christie’s confirmed this afternoon that Tower Hamlets Council had instructed them to offer the sculpture at public auction in February.

The 1.5 tonne work was given to the people of the East End as a ‘gift’ for a knock-down price in 1962 by the artist to be erected on a working-class council housing estate.

It was put up at Stepney’s Stifford Estate where it remained until the estate was pulled down in 1997 and sent to Yorkshire Sculpture Park for “safe keeping” for the past 15 years.

Related articles

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

Kendra Wilkinson’s second trial in as many days didn’t go completely to plan.

Read more

Could Jake and Edwina be forming an unlikely romance? Or is there someone else after his heart…

Read more

It doesn’t get much more festive than posing with Santa and a dude in a reindeer costume.

Read more

Promotions

Gamucci is a global leader and premier brand of electronic cigarettes

Gamucci has an electronic cigarette tailored for every need! We have a range of both disposable and rechargeable electronic cigarettes suitable for all adult smokers. And for a limited time we’re offering up to 40% off.

Money saving Christmas gifts to add to your shopping list!

It’s nearly time to go on the hunt for Christmas presents, stuck on what to get for your nearest and dearest? We’ve picked out a selection of great deals to get you started and to help you save some pennies!

Protesters have been warned they are banned from setting up camp at the landmark.

John Cantlie features in the new IS video, in which he talks about a recent failed military attack.

From Britain First’s Facebook posts, you would assume they’d won the Rochester by-election. They didn’t, but they’re claiming it anyway.

At 100 years old, this was Ruby Holt’s first visit to the beach – and the first time she saw the ocean.

TOP Stories

Yesterday, 20:07
The statue of Nelson Mandela surrounded by security fencing in Parliament Square [Photograph by @OccupyLondon]

Around 100 protesters from activist group Occupy Democracy have descended on Parliament Square as they plan to ‘take it over’ this weekend.

Yesterday, 12:35
[Photograph by Charles Mieville]

Two men have been killed after a balcony collapsed in Cadogan Square, one of Britain’s most expensive streets.

Yesterday, 08:57
The body of a man was found inside the suspect's car, stopped in Evelyn Street, Deptford (google street view)

A murder investigation is underway after a man was spotted trying to hide a body in the Thames at Deptford Creek in the early hours of this morning.

London Bloggers

Friday, November 14, 2014
Bird says back up your data

What happened after a friend of mine lost basically everything he’d created in the last 5 years:

Thursday, October 30, 2014
The Appilepsy team: Phil Efstathiou, Alex Telek , Clarence Ji, Miklos Molnar, Joran van Apeldoorn

In Tech City, things move fast. And sometimes erratically. Like phones in the pockets of people having epileptic seizures.

Friday, October 24, 2014
The 91-year-old gave the cyclist a wallop

After Baroness Sharples bragged about walloping a cyclist, London24’s cycling blogger AViewOfLondon has this to say...