Plans to bring the "Old Flo" statue back to east London look to be gathering pace, as the Museum Of London Docklands said it would be willing to display the piece.
The Henry Moore statue, officially named The Draped Seated Woman, was named property of Tower Hamlets Council on Wednesday, July 8, and mayor John Biggs said he wanted it to return to east London.
Antony Robbins, head of communications at the Museum Of London, said: “We are delighted that the sale of the statue was thwarted, and that the people of east London will be able to enjoy Old Flo for free.”
He confirmed that, although talks had not yet taken place on if and when the statue would come to the museum, there would always be a place for it there.
Mr Robbins said: “Obviously it is a big statue, so it would go outside the museum on West India Quay. But the statue was made to be outside anyway.
“If Tower Hamlets choose to have it here, that would be brilliant, but if they put it elsewhere in east London, we will still support them.”
The sculpture, which currently sits in Yorkshire Sculpture Park near Wakefield, was originally going to be sold under previous mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman, before a legal challenge was put in by neighbouring Bromley Council over which authority owned the sculpture.
A decision to award the ownership to Tower Hamlets was only made in early July, by which time new mayor John Biggs – who wanted to bring the statue back to east London – had been elected.
Leader of the Tower Hamlets Conservative group Cllr Peter Golds said: “We have been campaigning about this for five years, and I am delighted that the sculpture will be coming to East London.
“This is not the sort of thing you can sort out in the next few weeks, but I am sure negotiations to get it back will take place as soon as possible.”