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'Old Flo' sale likely after Councillor tells Radio 4 Today programme "all options" have been explored

PUBLISHED: 09:44 06 November 2012 | UPDATED: 17:53 06 November 2012

Tower Hamlets council appears likely to go ahead with the controversial sale of Henry Moore's 'Draped Seated Woman' after cabinet member for the environment Shahed Ali appeared on the BBC Radio 4's Today programme insisting that all the options for keeping it in the borough had been explored.

Cllr Ali appeared alongside director of the Henry Moore foundation Richard Calvocoressi, and seemed to signal that the council had made its decision on the future of ‘Old Flo’, which could be worth up to £20m.

He said that the council faced difficulty in finding a location where the sculpture is insurable and would be secure, insisting that the council had “looked into all the options”, including housing the sculpture in Canary Wharf, which he said did not look like a viable option.

The sculpture is currently in a park in Yorkshire, having been moved there in 1997.

A final decision on the sculpture is likely to be announced at Wednesday’s meeting of Tower Hamlets council’s cabinet.

Tower Hamlets Labour group continues to oppose the sale.

Cllr Denise Jones, Labour’s lead member for Culture and Heritage said: “To say all the options have been explored is completely untrue.

“Since Labour started our campaign to save the sculpture we have identified three separate offers to house the sculpture in the borough, none of which were approached by the Council.

“Almost 1,000 people have signed our petition against selling the sculpture in only 4 days. This clearly shows the level of public interest in this issue.”

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