Thursday, 9 July 2015

Tower Hamlets stole a Henry Moore statue - and got away with it

Well, sort of. This is the judgment. in short:

- The GLC had a Henry Moore sculpture - called 'Old Flo' - installed in Stepney.
- The GLC was abolished and the sculpture passed to the London Residuary Body.
- But Tower Hamlets Council seems to have thought it has passed to them instead.
- So they lent it to Yorkshire Sculpture Park, where it stayed for 18 years.
- And now it is too late for the London Residuary Body (now Bromley council, for reasons that don't matter) to get it back. Their title has been extinguished and it belongs to Tower Hamlets.

In legal terminology it's a bit like what you hear referred to as "squatters' rights" or "adverse possession", but the strictly correct term for it is "chutzpah".

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