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

Yesterday, 19:53
The brutal attack occurred on this quiet avenue in Mitcham [Photograph from Google StreetView]

Police are hunting for four thugs who stabbed a young man in the back in Mitcham.

Read more
Yesterday, 19:38
Karlton Burton and Javauntee Campbell were sentenced at the Old Bailey today

A teenager has been sentenced to life imprisonment for his role in the murder of Queen’s Market trader Rashid Naeem.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:32
The towering sea of foam floating down the River Lea  [photograph by Kriss Lee, CLiPiCs Photography and Art]

A 10 foot deep, mile-long mountain of foam invaded the tree-lined River Lea at the weekend in scenes reminiscent of spooky sci-fi drama the X Files.

Read more

TOP Stories

Yesterday, 19:53
The brutal attack occurred on this quiet avenue in Mitcham [Photograph from Google StreetView]

Police are hunting for four thugs who stabbed a young man in the back in Mitcham.

Yesterday, 19:38
Karlton Burton and Javauntee Campbell were sentenced at the Old Bailey today

A teenager has been sentenced to life imprisonment for his role in the murder of Queen’s Market trader Rashid Naeem.

Yesterday, 17:32
The towering sea of foam floating down the River Lea  [photograph by Kriss Lee, CLiPiCs Photography and Art]

A 10 foot deep, mile-long mountain of foam invaded the tree-lined River Lea at the weekend in scenes reminiscent of spooky sci-fi drama the X Files.

Promotions

Advanced running and training technology for beginners up to elite athletes

If you’re thinking of adding running treadmill to your fitness routine, you’re on the right track! There are several advantages to running on a treadmill versus running outdoors.

Renault-Zoe

The Renault ZOE follows on from the introduction of the electric Fluence ZE and Twizy, but unlike the former, the ZOE was designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle.

When no simple way to find Real Ale was at hand, 4 Ale enthusiasts got together to allow anyone with a smart phone to find Real Ale no matter where they happened to be, this was the birth of the Perfect Pint app.

London Bloggers

Monday, September 1, 2014
Do you really need an explanation for that?! (Pic by Serena Marinelli)

If you’ve ever seen an Italian movie, you would probably know how important body language is in the culture.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Don't waste any of your harvest

If you are now inundated with ripe tomatoes, juicy green beans, berries and herbs, don’t leave them to go stringy or mouldy because the freezer can go a long way to making your crops last well into winter.

Friday, August 22, 2014
It turns out painting is the perfect thing to do in bars

I’m somewhat of a casual, lazy and very much amateur painter and after a busy day at work, the prospect of getting all my brushes, acrylics, water and other faff out is far from appealing.

Quizzes

Do you fancy yourself as a football ground know-it-all? Try our devilishly difficult quiz!

How well do you know your football stadiums? This brand new quiz from London24 will seperate the men from the boys...

Read more
Do you know your Thames truths from the porkie pies? (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

So, you live (or work) in London, and you think you know the river well.

Read more
Diego Costa of Chelsea exchanges words with Cesc Fabregas (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)

Chelsea have made several personnel changes over the course of the summer as they look to mount a squad that can challenge for the title.

Read more