7 November 2012 4:55 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Tower Hamlets mayor's resolve to sell Draped Seated Woman draws censure from Danny Boyle and warnings from art experts

Experts are warning of a wave of public art sales by local authorities after Tower Hamlets agreed to sell a Henry Moore statue, donated by the artist on the understanding it would be left permanently on open-air display for the enjoyment of people in a socially deprived area of London.

Lutfur Rahman, the independent mayor of the borough, overruled the recommendation of his councillors that Draped Seated Woman– which could fetch up to £20m – should not be sold. Rushanara Ali, the Labour MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, said Rahman was "going against the desires of the over 1,500 people who have signed the petition [against the sale] in just a few days".

The decision was also condemned by Danny Boyle, a Tower Hamlets resident and director of the opening ceremony for the 2012 Olympics. "The »

- Amelia Hill

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