A sculpture by the artist Henry Moore has been returned to the position he designed it for in Greenwich Park.
The piece, ‘Large Standing Figure: Knife Edge’, was first installed in the park in 1979 and then removed to be exhibited elsewhere in 2007.
Its return to the park has been made possible through joint funding from The Friends of Greenwich Park, The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (Locog) and The Royal Parks.
Colin Buttery, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Parks, The Royal Parks said this morning: “Without the fantastic local support, the Royal Parks wouldn't have been able to bring this sculpture back here and the Friends, Locog and the Henry Moore foundation have all worked so hard to make this happen."
He paid particular thanks to Greenwich Park Manager, Graham Dear, for "doggedly pursuing" the return of the statue.
Olympic gold-medalist and Locog board member, Jonathan Edwards, told journalists that "Henry Moore is coming home and as an organising committee, we're delighted to be able to support the return of the 'Knife Edge'."
Anita Feldman, Head of Collections and Exhibitions, The Henry Moore Foundation said:
“It is wonderful to return the sculpture to the site Moore selected particularly as it will be overlooking London during the Olympic Games. Moore once exhibited a version of this sculpture on a hillside overlooking the Acropolis in Athens – its upraised arm, arched back and tilted hip recall the triumphant gesture and humanism of the ancient Nike of Samonthrace.”
It has been agreed that the piece will stay in Greenwich for two years but the agreement is renewable - would the Henry Moore Foundation like to see it stay in Greenwich?
"Definitely....I think it's always best if you can have sites that the artist chose," Ms Feldman told Greenwich.co.uk.
Ellie Brown, who is a personal trainer in the park and lives locally, said: "When it went, it left a big hole here... it was very flat. So it's really powerful to have it back."
Local resident Chris Mann was in the park this morning and told Greenwich.co.uk: "My wife and I were absolutely distressed when it suddenly disappeared with no information on why it had gone so I'm absolutely thrilled to see that it's come back again. It's fantastic!"
The sculpture which stands at over five metres tall, including the plinth, was transported down to Greenwich Park from the Henry Moore foundation in Perry Green on Tuesday.