Henry Moore scuplture Old Flo is saved from auction

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The sale of a Henry Moore sculpture has been halted after a campaign to save it from being auctioned off.

Moore’s Draped Seated Woman, known as “Old Flo”, will remain at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, where it has been on display since 1997.

Castleford-born sculptor Moore sold the eight-foot bronze figure to the former London County Council for £6,000 in the 1960s.

In October 2012 former Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman announced plans to sell Old Flo, now worth around £20m, at auction house Christie’s.

But the sale was put on hold when campaigners at the Museum of London uncovered that the sculpture might not be the property of Tower Hamlets.

Now John Biggs, the new Tower Hamlets mayor, has halted the sale.

Wakefield MP Mary Creagh, Bethnal Green and Bow MP Rushanara Ali, the Museum of London, film-maker Danny Boyle, Tate director Nicholas Serota and Henry Moore’s daughter Mary were involved in the campaign.

Ms Creagh said: “Art is for everyone. Henry Moore was the son of a miner, and sold Old Flo for less than its market value in the 60s for people of the East End of London to enjoy after the blitz.

“She should never have been put up for sale by Tower Hamlets and I am relieved and delighted that she has been saved for the nation to enjoy.”

Bromley and Tower Hamlets councils are contesting the ownership of Old Flo.