Leeds & West Yorkshire

Henry Moore sculpture in Leeds sent overseas

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Media captionThe sculpture will return later in the year

A sculpture by Henry Moore has been taken off its plinth outside Leeds Art Gallery to be loaned to a gallery in Amsterdam.

The bronze figure Reclining Woman: Elbow will be on display at the Rijksmuseum as part of a major exhibition of the artist's work.

It is the first time the work has been moved since it was erected outside the gallery's new extension in 1982.

The sculpture will be cleaned and renovated before being returned.

The 2.21m (7ft 3in) long figure was made in 1981 and placed outside the Moore Sculpture Gallery extension. The artist supervised the installation.

It will join other sculptures by the Castleford-born sculptor in an exhibition to celebrate the reopening of the Rijksmuseum, which has undergone a 10-year refurbishment programme.

'Permanent fixture'

Leeds City Council executive member for leisure, councillor Adam Ogilvie, said the request from the Rijksmuseum showed the international significance of the sculpture.

He said: "It's going to be a little strange walking past the art gallery and not seeing the Henry Moore sculpture there as it has been a permanent fixture for the last 30 years, but it is long overdue a holiday after all that time."

The exhibition in Amsterdam will last until September when the sculpture will be cleaned and waxed by staff at the Henry Moore Foundation before it returns to Leeds.

Henry Moore was born in 1898 and studied at the Leeds School of Art in the early 1920s.

He produced many large artworks which are located in public spaces in cities around the world.

Last year, one of his sculptures was sold at auction for £19.1m.

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