Art Fund, the national fundraising charity for the arts, has launched a legal challenge against Tower Hamlet’s decision to sell the Henry Moore statue dubbed “Old Flo”.
Law firm Farrer & Co., acting on Art Fund’s behalf claims that the London Residuary Body owns the statue, not Tower Hamlets Council. The decision to sell the artwork was made by Mayor Lutfur Rahman to fund budget cuts.
A statement released by the Art Fund, a charity that works to keep masterpieces in the public domain, said: “Ownership must be established beyond reasonable doubt before a work of art can be sold.”
“The council would have surely addressed this before commissioning a sale through Christie’s, and should be easily and quickly able to provide evidence of ownership.”
Mayor Lutfur Rahman hit back against the claims in a statement:
“I have a duty to ensure residents do not suffer the brunt of the horrendous cuts being imposed on us. For the Art Fund to challenge our ownership after a period of nearly 30 years seems to be a desperate PR stunt.”
With the debate over Old Flo’s sale rumbling on for some time now, we want to hear your thoughts. With a £44 million budget deficit to plug, should Old Flo go? Let us know over on our Facebook page.