Early day motion over Old Flo

Early day motion plea to keep Moore sculpture in London

Prospect, the union for 3,000 specialists staff in the heritage sector has welcomed a call by Rushanara Ali MP to keep a treasured sculpture in public hands and to place it at the Museum of London Docklands.

The sculpture, ‘Old Flo’ by Henry Moore is one of many pieces of art that cash-strapped local authorities are resigned to selling off, most likely to a private collector.

Prospect Negotiator Dave Allen said: “Henry Moore and his family wanted this much loved sculpture to be displayed in London, for the benefit of Londoners, not tucked away in a private collection. The curators at the Museum of London Docklands are the ideal people to protect and preserve ‘Old Flo’, so we welcome this EDM. By ensuring our arts remain in public view we will also be giving our museums a welcome boost they need in tough times.”

The full wording of Early Day Motion 1028 is:

EDM: Henry Moore Sculpture ‘Draped Seated Woman’

This House notes with concern that due to excessive central government cuts to local authority funding, councils are under severe pressure and many nationally treasured works of art are being prepared for sale in order to try and balance the books; this House is concerned by the decision of the Mayor of Tower Hamlets to sell on the open market the Henry Moore Sculpture affectionately known as ‘Old Flo’ contrary to the wishes of many local councillors and people; this House notes with concern that there is ambiguity over the title to this sculpture; this House recalls the wishes of Henry Moore and his family that this sculpture should be displayed for the benefit of the people of London and the intentions of the London County Council on purchasing this sculpture that it should remain in public ownership in perpetuity; furthermore this House welcomes the interest of the Museum of London in housing the Sculpture at the Museum of London Docklands in Tower Hamlets, where it could be displayed for free and with the support of professional skilled curators; this House believes that ‘Old Flo’ and other internationally important works of art could soon be lost, taking with them an important part of the nation’s heritage, due to the irresponsible cuts to local authority budgets.