Sell-off of iconic Henry Moore sculpture ‘Old Flo’ halted after three-year campaign

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A LONG running row over the sale of Henry Moore’s ‘Old Flo’ sculpture has ended with victory for campaigners who wanted to keep her in the UK.

Draped Seated Woman, fondly known as ‘Old Flo’, has been on display at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in Wakefield since 1997, even though it is owned by London’s Tower Hamlets council.

Wakefield MP Mary Creagh and Bethnal Green and Bow MP Rushanara Ali have led a campaign to keep the 8ft bronze statue in the UK, together with the Museum of London, film-maker Danny Boyle, Tate director Nicholas Serota and the Castleford-born sculptor’s daughter Mary Moore.

Lutfur Rahman, the previous Tower Hamlets Mayor, announced his intention to sell the sculpture through auction house Christie’s in October 2012.

The sale was put on hold when campaigners at the Museum of London claimed that the sculpture might not be the property of Tower Hamlets, and a two year legal battle ensued.

Now, new Labour Mayor John Biggs has put an end to the sale.

Mary Creagh MP said: “It’s fantastic news.

“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.”