The people of Yorkshire are being asked to get behind a campaign to keep a valuable sculpture by Castleford born Henry Moore in the county. The "Draped Seated Woman" was given to Tower Hamlets by Moore in 1962. It is worth up to £20 million and now the cash-strapped council want to sell it to pay off debts and invest in the future.
The statue is currently at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, near Wakefield, who say they don't want it to leave Yorkshire - or even possibly the UK - if it is sold off to a private bidder.
If the sculpture is sold at Christies, as planned, it would go to the highest bidder and the fear is the art could even be taken out of the country. Wakefield MP Mary reagh is working with leading figures in the art world and east London MPs to try to ensure this does not happen.
The scrutiny committee of the council are debating the possible sale on Tuesday and the independent mayor will take a decision on Wednesday. The Yorkshire Sculpture Park say the work should always remain in public hands and displayed for the benefit of the public.
What do we know about Henry Moore?
- He was born in Castleford in 1898, the seventh child of a coalminer from Lincolnshire.
- He went to Leeds School of Art before winning a scholarship to the Royal College of Art in London.
- He insisted on carving his sculptures and leaving the imperfections on the finished article - which was both unconventional and upsetting to his professors.
- He later went on to cast his work in bronze
- In the 1930s he was considered the voice of British Sculpture
- He has influenced artists around the world ever since.