Tower Hamlets council is understood to have rejected an offer of £20million for the complete statue, ‘Draped Seated Man with Bagel’, instead negotiating a deal whereby they keep the two holes in exchange for a discounted price of £12 million. It’s planned for the holes to go on continuous display in the grounds of Tower Hamlets Town Hall.
‘It’s an artistic and economic compromise,’ said a Tower Hamlets spokesperson. ‘It means a significant element in an important art work is kept for the people of the borough to enjoy. And they can still benefit from the cash gained by selling the metal part – a meeting of minds between conceptual art and hard cash.’
Councillor Robert Jones, responsible for civic amenities, added ‘Compared to the sculpture itself, which many people find incomprehensible, holes are easier to keep free of pigeon droppings, far more secure at night times, and almost impossible to steal, as they’re so well known. If anyone offers you a hole in a pub, you’d recognise a Henry Moore one straight away.’