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Cash-strapped UK officials sell Henry Moore statue
In this June. 3, 1996 file photo of Henry Moore's sculpture "Draped, Seated Woman". A cash-strapped authority in east London says it's selling a valuable Henry Moore statue over the objections of leading British arts figures including director Danny Boyle. London's Tower Hamlets Council said late Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, that "Draped Seated Woman," which stood for years on a public housing complex in the city's East End, would be sold "due to the massive government cuts we are facing." AP Photo/PA, File.
LONDON (AP).- A cash-strapped authority in east London says it's selling a valuable Henry Moore statue over the objections of leading British arts figures including director Danny Boyle.

London's Tower Hamlets Council said late Wednesday that "Draped Seated Woman," which stood for years on a public housing complex in the city's East End, would be sold "due to the massive government cuts we are facing."

Moore, who died in 1986, was one of Britain's best-known 20th-century artists; he sold the sculpture to the council's predecessor in 1960 for a token price in order to enrich the lives of the area's poorer residents.

The statue's estimated value ranges from 5 million pounds to 20 million pounds ($8 million to $32 million).

The Mayor of London is calling on the Mayor of Tower Hamlets to reconsider the sale of the Henry Moore statue, Draped Seated Woman. The Mayor had previously written to Councillor Lutfur Rahman in support of the Museum of London's request for it to be loaned for display at its Docklands site.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said today: 'The decision to sell this iconic work by a key British artist is extremely disappointing. Whilst I appreciate that the council needs to find ways to deal with the prevailing economic climate, I believe more could be done to enable Draped Seated Woman to remain in East London.

'This is a statue that was sold at a bargain price by Henry Moore to the London County Council for the benefit of local people in Tower Hamlets. The Museum of London in Docklands has offered 'Old Flo' a home and it will be a tragedy if nothing can be done to ensure it goes back on public display in the borough as originally intended. I urge the council to reconsider and that more time is given to find a solution.'


Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.





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