'Old Flo' set to return to Tower Hamlets in new Canary Wharf site
PUBLISHED: 11:52 30 March 2017 | UPDATED: 15:17 31 March 2017
Henry Moore’s treasured ‘Old Flo’ looks set to return to Tower Hamlets.
The multi-million pound sculpture, which was nearly sold off, will be hosted in Cabot Square, in Canary Wharf, it has been announced.
Old Flo, which was originally housed on the Stifford Estate in Stepney and remained there from 1962-1997 after her creator, Henry Moore gifted the artwork to the borough.
Although, for the last 20 years, the popular piece of art has been at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, said: “I am delighted that Old Flo is finally on her way back home to Tower Hamlets and the people of the East End.
“Old Flo is an important part of the borough’s cultural heritage, that’s why we took the decision to cancel the previous Mayor’s sell off and are returning her to her rightful place in the borough.”
When elected in June 2015, one of the Mayor’s first decisions was to save Old Flo and bring her back to the borough, after she was nearly sold off at auction by Christies.
He also nearly lost the battle, when Bromley council contested ownerships of the sculpture in a high court dispute in 2015, but the judge ruled in favour of Tower Hamlets.
“Whilst I would have loved to see Old Flo returned to her old home in Stepney her considerable value means we’ve had to find her a safe and secure home for her for the next five years.
“My hope is after that she can move even closer into our community, possibly at the new Civic Centre in Whitechapel when it is complete.”
Canary Wharf Group beat off competition to land the contract to be the home of the sculpture.
Sir George Iacobescu, chairman and chief executive officer, Canary Wharf Group said: “We are honoured to have been asked to look after this well-loved art work on behalf of the people of the borough.
“Old Flo will have pride of place alongside the 65 pieces of public art which are already on display at Canary Wharf and enjoyed by those in Tower Hamlets and workers at Canary Wharf.”