A HENRY Moore sculpture that has been housed at one of Wakefield’s main tourist attractions for that past 15 years will to be sold to help the cash-strapped council that owns it.
Draped Seated Woman, which is fondly known as Old Flo, has been housed at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park since 1997 when it was lent for restoration by Tower Hamlets Council, which owns it.
But last night the council’s Mayor, Lutfur Rahman made the decision to sell it for up to £20m.
The authority has to make £100m worth of cuts in the next three years, and Mayor Rahman said the decision was one made with regret, adding: “I have a duty to ensure residents do not suffer from the brunt of the horrendous cuts being imposed on us.”
Wakefield MP, Mary Creagh, was among those who joined the campaign to try and keep the 8ft bronze statue in the UK, together with film-maker Danny Boyle, Tate galleries director Nicholas Serota and the sculptor’s daughter Mary Moore.
Ms Creagh said the sale will go against Mr Moore’s wishes.
She said: “He was a socialist and son of a miner, who sold Old Flo to the council for less than its market value in the 60s, for the working class people of London to enjoy. No one wants some billionaire collector to get their hands on it and hide it away.”