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To sell or not

March 26, 2013 - Marguerite Lanthier
One of the borough’s in London, Tower Hamlets, plans to sell the famed Henry Moore sculpture known as “Draped Seated woman.” The bronze sculpture, which 6-foot, 7-inch long, 8-foot, 2-inch tall, and weighs approximately 1.1 tons, could raise $30 million for the struggling borough. With the proposed sale comes the controversy. Art lovers fear it will start a precedent, triggering sales of hundreds of artworks to make a quick buck. Rushanara Ali, a member of Parliament who represents part of Tower Hamlets, raised the issue during a December debate, suggesting the proposal was more the result of "profligacy and extraordinary waste," than tough economic times. "This bonfire of public art is not the answer," Ali said. "One has to ask, where does this end? What precedents will be set for other areas that may wish to make such sales to deal with financial challenges?" Others believe the money would quickly be spent and the statue, known as Old Flo, which was a symbol of hope to for the people of the area, would vanish into a private collection. Could you imagine if our country became so cash strapped we started selling our famous attractions like the Statue of Liberty, Washington Monument, Mount Rushmore, etc? You probably can’t. But a few years ago you probably would not have thought every stadium, venue and bowl game in the country would sell naming rights either.



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