The House of Commons has confirmed that it will take on ownership and responsibility for care of the Henry Moore sculpture – 'Knife Edge - Two Piece' – which stands on Abingdon Green opposite the Houses of Parliament.
The sculpture was gifted to the Nation in 1967 and is well known for appearing in the background of many political news interviews. However no formal arrangements were ever made for its care and, over time, responsibility for looking after this important sculpture has become unclear.
Concerned about the deterioration of the sculpture Frank Doran MP, Chair of the House of Commons Works of Art Committee, asked what the plans were for the sculpture's care and maintenance.
In his reply Edward Vaizey MP, Minister for Culture, Communications and the Creative Industries, suggested the House of Commons take on the sculpture's ownership and duty of care.
In considering whether or not to accept ownership of the sculpture the House of Commons consulted closely with The Henry Moore Foundation [external website].
Head of Collections and Exhibitions at the Henry Moore Foundation, Anita Feldman, said:
"This is the perfect solution. Now we can be assured that the sculpture will remain in the site that Moore chose for it and that it will be properly looked after in future."
Frank Doran MP said:
"This public sculpture is a very important piece chosen by Henry Moore himself to stand in front of Parliament and we are very pleased to be able ensure its future care will now be secure."
Edward Vaizey MP said:
"I am delighted that the House of Commons is to take on ownership of Knife Edge Two Piece on Abingdon Green. This iconic piece by Henry Moore, which is perhaps one of the most televised works of art in London, is badly in need of some care and attention and it will be splendid to see it restored to its former glory and in time for the Olympics."
Plans will now be made for conserving the sculpture which will be carried out early in 2012.
Image: Reproduced by permission of The Henry Moore Foundation