Henry Moore’s sculpture Draped Seated Woman was bought by Tower Hamlets Council in 1960 for just £6000. It came with the condition that it would be displayed in a socially deprived part of the borough. With the piece, also known as ‘Old Flo’, now valued at £20million, Mayor Lutfur Rahman recently discussed the possibility of cashing in. East London Lines went to Tower Hamlets to find out what people who live and work in the area think of the Council’s plans to sell the bronze.
[success]Dennis Spitra, 24, is a hotel professional, Canary Wharf. He wonders who will benefit from the sale.
“If it can be sold for twenty million, and this is put into schools for example, then it would be understandable for the council to sell it, but we don’t know where the money’s going. A sculpture in the possession of the council is for everyone to enjoy, the public can visit it and art students can make use of it for school, so I think it should be kept.”[/success]
[notice]Omar Jan, 26, is a supervisor at the Food Sale Express off licence in Mile End. He hopes the statue won’t be bought by a private collector.
“It’s no good. They should not sell it if no one will be able to see it or visit it.”[/notice]
[error]Ruby Utting, 22, studies International Relations at Queen Mary University, Mile End. She thinks that the University would benefit from having the sculpture onsite.[/error]
“If Tower Hamlets sells it, it would be a massive shame, it shouldn’t be taken away from the public. If Queen Mary had it, it would be enjoyed by many students, and it would be really good for the area, so that would be better than to sell it to anyone else.”
[info]Natalie Dela Murra, 24, a fashion professional who works in Canary Wharf, has lived in Tower Hamlets all her life. She believes that the statue should be kept in the area.
‘Tower Hamlets are expecting to make £20m from selling it? They probably make that much from parking tickets in a year. Where does that money go, and where’s the money from the sculpture going to go? There’s a lot of art in Canary Wharf. It would fit in well round here, and at least people would be able to come and see it. [/info]