Leeds & West Yorkshire

Henry Moore sculpture in Yorkshire could be sold

A multimillion-pound sculpture by Henry Moore, on show at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park since 1997, could be sold by its London owners.

The Draped Seated Woman was loaned to the park by Tower Hamlets after it was vandalised with graffiti.

The council is due to decide whether to sell it or bring it back to London to be displayed at Canary Wharf.

The authority said the money that could be raised is "urgently needed" for other projects.

The bronze sculpture was created in the 1950s and installed on the Stifford Estate in Tower Hamlets in 1962.

'Very significant piece'

It was given to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park near Wakefield on short-term loan in 1997.

Park director Peter Murray said: "She needed restoration and that was part of the deal.

"We always knew it was on loan and would at some stage... have to go back to Tower Hamlets. Obviously it'll be very sad to lose it because it looks fantastic in this landscape.

"It was made in about 1956, it's a fantastic sculpture by Henry Moore, a very significant piece."

He added: "If it's sold it's unlikely it'll be in a public place."

Tower Hamlets council said in its report on the future of the sculpture: "The rationale for placing the sculpture on an East London housing estate - and why Henry Moore sold the sculpture to the public sector in the first place - was to enrich the lives of people living in a socially deprived area."

The report said that as the value of the sculpture could be as much as £20m, it would be too risky to place it in any area that meets the original criteria.

If a decision is made to sell the sculpture, it will be offered for auction at Christie's in February 2013.

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