A cast bronze sculpture by Barbara Hepworth, removed from the Mander Shopping Centre in Wolverhampton last June is creating controversy. The work of art has been located in the centre since it opened in 1968. It is one of six castings of this important 1964 work of art. Hundreds of people have now backed a campaign spearheaded on Facebook to return the Hepworth to its key position at the centre.
Titled Rock Form, the bronze is thought to be worth several million pounds. The Mander Centre is up for sale and campaigners fear there are plans to sell the sculpture at auction. The Royal Bank of Scotland who co-own the building with Delancey stated that they were currently looking for ways of reintegrating the work of art at the centre, once the refurbishment was finished, however they contradicted themselves by saying that they were, “reviewing public art installations as part of a £30m redevelopment of the Mander Centre and felt “a new piece of artwork may be appropriate for the redeveloped centre.”
City Council in Wolverhampton has backed the campaign and written to the chancellor and the Department of Culture (DCMS), for government support. Councillor Elias Mattu, cabinet member for leisure and communities, said: “We are absolutely determined to get that sculpture returned.”
Hunderds of people have signed a petition calling for Rock Form to be returned while nearly 500 more have “liked” a new Facebook page. See Link