Tower Hamlets 'will sell Flo'

Draped Seated Woman is estimated to be worth £20 million Credit: ITV London

Tower Hamlets council says it still plans to sell a Henry Moore statue nicknamed 'Old Flo' despite councillors uniting to urge that it be kept.

They passed a joint motion at a council meeting last night calling on the mayor not to sell the work, which is estimated to be worth £20 million.

The council says it has no choice but to sell the statue, called Draped Seated Woman, because of £100 million budget cuts. It says the work brings "no tangible benefit to the Tower Hamlets community". It could now be put up for auction early next year.

The sale of the statue is being opposed by director Danny Boyle, the Tate and the Museum of London, which has offered to display it at its Docklands site.

The Moore statue is the subject of a legal action on behalf of the Arts Council, which claims the work is not theirs to sell.

Henry Moore sold the sculpture to London County Council in the 1960s for £6,000 on the provision that it be displayed in an underprivileged area. It stood for years outside a tower block in Tower Hamlets, but was later moved to a sculpture park in Wakefield after being graffitied.