High Security for Henry Moore Bronze in King’s Cross
London won’t be intimidated by metal thieves.
Henry Moore’s monumental Large Spindle Piece has relocated to the new piazza outside King’s Cross Station. The 1974 bronze piece is on loan from the Henry Moore Foundation. It will overlook one of London’s busiest interchanges for a minimum period of five years, The Guardian reports.
Large Spindle Piece was inspired by a pebble Moore picked up in a field. The artist then combined it with clay and cast the whole. The spectacular result didn’t land in King’s Cross by chance. Britain’s modern giant Moore was born in Yorkshire, and spent time in Hertfordshire—both counties are accessible from the station.
With bronze thefts on an all-time high, the choice of Moore can also be seen as a bit of a muscle-flexing exercise. The security around the sculpture is, according to The Guardian, “robust,” although the Henry Moore Foundation declined to discuss further details when contacted by artnet News.
Thieves would have to be particularly well equipped to snatch the 3 meter-high sculpture unnoticed. But it wouldn’t be a first. In 2005, criminals raided the Henry Moore Foundation’s base in Perry Green, leaving with the 3.6 meter-long, 2.1 ton Reclining Figure 1969-70 they had hoisted onto the back of a lorry with a crane. While Reclining Figure had been estimated at £3 million ($5 million), it was feared it might have been stolen for scrap value.
In 2012, two men were sentenced to 12 months in custody for stealing a Henry Moore sundial worth £500,000 ($839,075). They had sold it for £46 ($77) to a scrap merchant, who contacted the authorities.
The buoyant Moore market also no doubt fuels the crime targeting the artist’s work. Last March, the £3 million, 7ft tall Standing Figure was snatched by three men in a van at Glenkiln Sculpture Park near Shawhead, in Dumfries and Galloway.
Meanwhile, tower Hamlets Council provoked a public outcry when it announced its intention to sell Draped Seated Woman, also known as Old Flo, initially meant by the artist to cheer up a council estate. If sold at auction, the piece could fetch up to £20 million ($33.5 million). A final decision is yet to be taken.
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