Search

Tower Hamlets challenged by Bromley council over who owns Moore’s Old Flo sculpture

PUBLISHED: 08:34 20 December 2012 | UPDATED: 09:11 20 December 2012

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

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

Henry Moore Trust

Mayor Lutfur Rahman is being challenged over who owns the Henry Moore ‘Draped Seated Woman’ sculpture known as ‘Old Flo’ which he wants to sell in the New Year.

The challenge to Tower Hamlets comes from Bromley Council in south London, it has emerged.

Bromley has written to Mayor Rahman throwing the gauntlet down over his bid to auction off the sculpture—while Bethnal Green & Bow MP Rushanara Ali has raised the controversy in the Commons in a bid to block the sell-off.

The challenge comes after Museum of London bosses followed a paper trail back to the 1960s when Moore created the sculpture at cost price for the-then London County Council and waived consultation and transport fees to have it put up as a gift to the East End on Stepney’s Stifford Estate.

Old Flo was not transferred to Tower Hamlets when the LCC was abolished in 1965, but instead remained the property of the new GLC until its own abolition in 1986 when all assets passed to the London Residuary Body. The sculpture was then transferred to Bromley, the museum found.

“This is very good news indeed,” said museum director Sharon Ament. “We welcome Bromley’s challenge to Tower Hamlets.

“Bromley has committed to Moore’s statue being on public display. We hope that ‘Old Flo’ will come home to the East End.”

The museum has offered to cover costs of conservation, security, insurance and transporting it back from the Yorkshire Sculpture Park where it has been stored for 15 years, to be displayed at its Docklands site at Canary Wharf.

But Tower Hamlets refutes that Bromley has any right to the asset. The 1962 minutes of the LCC authorised the purchase of the statue “to be sited in Stifford Estate” where it remained until the estate was demolished. The estate transferred to Tower Hamlets, the council points out.

MP Rushanara Ali raised the issue in the Commons yesterday (Weds) when she asked the government to stop the “fire sale”—describing it as “a betrayal of the East End’s working class heritage.”

Mayor Rahman wants Old Flo under the auctioneer’s hammer at Christie’s in February.

Latest East London News Stories

The Mayor of Tower Hamlets has announced a package of ‘tackling poverty innovation grants’ worth £200,000 for new programmes by community and voluntary groups in the borough.

Commuters are facing severe delays on the Jubilee line this morning following a signal failure.

A woman had her phone and cash stolen after being duped into letting someone into her home.

Yesterday, 16:58

A Bangla music festival has released details of its lineup.

Yesterday, 16:51

A man has been rushed to hospital after being rescued from a dock on the Isle of Dogs.

Yesterday, 15:05

Victoria Park has been voted one of the top 10 parks in the UK.

Yesterday, 11:30

A ‘dangerous’ drug dealer who kept a loaded gun on top of a wardrobe has been jailed for eight years.

Yesterday, 07:00

The mayor of Tower Hamlets recognised people who’ve been trained to tackle discrimination.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Are you a landlord looking for a fixed rental income, paid whether the property is empty or not? Steve Westley, general manager at estate agents Elliot Leigh, explains their Guaranteed Rent Scheme and how it takes the stress out of letting your property.

Newsletter Sign Up

East London Advertiser twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now