Back in the borough Henry Moore intended her to live, Old Flo settles into her new home

Old Flo in her new urban home. Picture Jeff Spicer/PA Wire
Old Flo in her new urban home. Picture Jeff Spicer/PA Wire

After 20 years sat admiring the Wakefield countryside, Old Flo has a distinctly more urban look out in her new home.

After being subject to years of legal wrangling, Henry Moore’s Draped Seated Woman, or Old Flo, as she is affectionately known, was moved from her home of 20 years, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, last month. She has now been unveiled at her new home in London’s Canary Wharf.

Henry Moore's Draped Seated Woman at Cabot Square in Canary Wharf, as the work makes a return to London's East End.  Photo: Jeff Spicer/PA Wire

Henry Moore's Draped Seated Woman at Cabot Square in Canary Wharf, as the work makes a return to London's East End. Photo: Jeff Spicer/PA Wire

Castleford-born Moore originally sold the sculpture at a cut-price to London City Council in 1962 for display on the Stifford Estate in Stepney. Following the demolition of the estate, it was sent to the Sculpture Park on long-term loan, but in 2012 became the subject of a legal battle over ownership by success of the City Council.

Tower Hamlets was eventually declared the true owner of the bronze, worth an estimated £18m, in 2015, and its Mayor John Biggs vowed to get it back for public display in the borough - reversing the intention of his predecessor to sell her off.

Now Old Flo is settled into her new home after the Canary Wharf Group beat off competition from two other bids to house her, and she will be enjoyed by East End residents as Moore intended.

Mr Biggs said: “Old Flo has an important place in our borough’s history and heritage and I am delighted to have her back in the East End where she belongs.

Henry Moore's 'Draped Seated Woman', at Stifford Estate in London in 1962, as the work made a return to London's East End.  Photo: LCC Photograph Collection/London Metropolitan Archives/City of London/PA Wire

Henry Moore's 'Draped Seated Woman', at Stifford Estate in London in 1962, as the work made a return to London's East End. Photo: LCC Photograph Collection/London Metropolitan Archives/City of London/PA Wire

“Having her here is a demonstration of how important arts and culture are to us in Tower Hamlets and I hope as many people as possible take the opportunity to go and see her now she is back home in East London.”

During World War Two, Moore was employed as a war artist and was inspired by the figures he saw huddled in air raid shelters.

The many sketches he made during this time led to the creation of Old Flo.