Eduardo Paolozzi’s Mosaic at London’s Tottenham Court Road Station Saved
Eduardo Paolozzi’s iconic mosaic arches at London’s Tottenham Court Road underground station have been saved after the University of Edinburgh agreed to acquire the artwork.
Transport for London (TfL), operator of the British capital’s underground rail network, was heavily criticized in February for demolishing three mosaic-covered arches over the station’s escalators valued at £100,000 ($156,500) during modernization work at the station.
However, TfL has since worked together with conservators to keep the remaining 95 percent of the original mosaic intact.
According to the Independent, campaigners at the 20th Century Society contacted the University of Edinburgh to persuade them to give the mosaic a new home in Scotland. The university already counts around 150 Paolozzi works to its art collection.
The artist has strong ties to the institution, having enrolled at the university in 1943 and later working at the university as a visiting professor.
Neil Lebeter, curator of the university’s art collection told the Independent, “The mosaics will be a very important addition to the art collection both in terms of Paolozzi’s significance and his links to Edinburgh.”
Toby Treves of the Paolozzi Foundation added, “The work with Edinburgh will provide a fitting home for the pieces that could not be accommodated at the station.”
Although the 20th Century Society campaigned to have the works preserved at the station, senior conservation advisor Henrietta Billings conceded, “We are very pleased that they will once again be on public display.”
The mosaic must now be photographed and digitally mapped before it will be shipped to Scotland, where it will be painstakingly reassembled by a team of experts in a process which a spokesman likened to reassembling “a massive jigsaw puzzle.”
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