We’re celebrating today after an announcement by RBS that they will return Barbara Hepworth’s multi-million pound sculpture to the public.
The sculpture was donated to Wolverhampton’s shopping complex in 1968 for public enjoyment. But it was removed last year when the centre was put up for sale by its owners, Delancey and the Royal Bank of Scotland.
Richard, a 38 Degrees member, set up a petition on Campaigns by You for the sculpture to be returned. He presented nearly 3,000 signatures to the petition to RBS, Delancey and the Mander Centre earlier this month.
Here’s what petition starter Richard said about the announcement:
“This is a fantastic win. Whatever they may say now, we do know for sure that Delancey and RBS certainly considered seriously the option of selling off the sculpture at one point. The campaign to save it forced them to re-think, and this petition has been a powerful element in the campaign, giving voice to the views of thousands of ordinary folk, and giving a real mandate to the efforts of the councillors and MPs who talked to RBS on our behalf.
As our supporter Antony Gormley has said: “There is, in this monetarist time, an assumption that ‘common good’ can be trumped by the values of a liberalised economy; let us hope you can change that assumption here.”
Well, in a small way, we have, and we hope that this may give encouragement to other communities fighting to keep their own public art from being asset stripped.”