Henry Moore’s ‘Old Flo’ sculpture withdrawn from auction

19:21 21 December 2012

Henry Moore

Henry Moore's 'Old Flo' erected in Stepney in 1962. Picture: Henry Moore Trust

Henry Moore Trust

Henry Moore’s ‘Draped Seated Woman’ sculpture - known as ‘Old Flo’ - has been withdrawn by Tower Hamlets Council from auction in February because of a challenge over ownership, it has emerged this evening (Fri).

Lawyers for the Arts Fund charity had asked Christie’s to withdraw it because Bromley Council now claims it owns the artwork that Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman wants to sell off.

The challenge from Bromley came after the Museum of London followed a paper trail tracing the sculpture back to the 1960s when Moore sold it at cost price to the-then London County Council and waived consultation and transport fees to have it put up on Stepney’s Stifford Estate.

It was not transferred to the new Tower Hamlets authority when the LCC or its successor GLC were abolished, says the museum, but remained an asset of the London Residuary Body, then later transferred to Bromley as custodians.

Bromley Council leader Stephen Carr said: “The idea that selling this national treasure will somehow tackle Tower Hamlets’ financial situation is flawed—the money would not protect frontline services very long.”

Tower Hamlets Mayor Rahman today denied Bromley’s claim, citing “many examples” of artwork transferred without being expressly named.

He said: “This move is an insult to the East End. If Bromley owned it, why have they stayed silent for 27 years?”

The statue was an amenity, he insists, so “under law was automatically transferred” with the estate.

Lawyers are being briefed on both sides, including a top QC hired by Tower Hamlets council, ready for any possible High Court battle in the New Year.

Bethnal Green & Bow MP Rushanara Ali raised the controversy in the Commons on Monday in a bid to block the sell-off, citing it as “a betrayal of the East End’s working class.”

The Museum of London Docklands has offered to pay for security, insurance and transporting Old Flo back from the Yorkshire Sculpture Park where it has been stored for 15 years to be exhibited at Canary Wharf.

Related articles

Latest Stories

Yesterday, 18:02
The chair appears to move of its own accord - or perhaps there is a ghostly explanation?

The spooky goings on apparently took place just hours after a psychic medium took to the stage in Romford. Coincidence? Almost certainly...

Read more
Yesterday, 14:28
People enjoy the Royal Victoria beach as temperatures reaches 28C in London.

This weekend saw London’s biggest manmade beach open at the Royal Victoria Dock in Canning Town.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:50
Nightcapp was born when Graham's friends got fed up with him waking them up late at night for recommendations for bars [Image courtesy of Nightcapp]

It’s surprising how much it happens in this global city: last orders comes before you’re ready for it, and you’re left with the choice of finding a 24-hour off-license or getting the nightbus whilst disconcertingly sober.

Read more

TOP Stories

Yesterday, 18:02
The chair appears to move of its own accord - or perhaps there is a ghostly explanation?

The spooky goings on apparently took place just hours after a psychic medium took to the stage in Romford. Coincidence? Almost certainly...

Yesterday, 14:28
People enjoy the Royal Victoria beach as temperatures reaches 28C in London.

This weekend saw London’s biggest manmade beach open at the Royal Victoria Dock in Canning Town.

Yesterday, 13:50
Nightcapp was born when Graham's friends got fed up with him waking them up late at night for recommendations for bars [Image courtesy of Nightcapp]

It’s surprising how much it happens in this global city: last orders comes before you’re ready for it, and you’re left with the choice of finding a 24-hour off-license or getting the nightbus whilst disconcertingly sober.

Promotions

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.

London24 have partnered up with The Week magazine to offer you a complimentary issue – delivered free to your door.

London Bloggers

Thursday, July 24, 2014
London comedians are preparing for Edinburgh (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

During these sultry July afternoons and endless balmy evenings the nervous musings of young comedians in London drift to dreams of triumph on the Edinburgh stage.

Thursday, July 24, 2014
Punchdrunk's The Drowned Man poduction came to an end on Sunday, July 6

If you’ve been wandering around bereft of purpose, a wet-eyed stare fixed on your blank face, then no doubt you too are as gutted as I am that The Drowned Man has finally come to an end.

Thursday, July 24, 2014
(Photo by Joern Pollex/Getty Images)

We’ve been called P.I.G.S.

Quizzes

The prize is glory (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

It used to be Manhattan that was famous for its majestic skyline, but now our fair city is catching up. Do you know your Shard from your Heron Tower?

Read more
Test your London musical knowledge with our album quiz (Images via Getty)

Does your music knowledge stretch from The Rolling Stones to Rudimental, Spandau Ballet to Siouxsie and the Banshees? If so then test it out with our London bands quiz:

Read more
How much do you really know about QPR legends like Les Ferdinand? Picture: Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport

Test your knowledge of QPR’s greatest players with our fantastic legends quiz.

Read more