Friday, September 04, 2009

Westland sells Bank of England sculptures

Westlands, london UK

A major collection of sculptures from the Bank of England have been bought by Wesland London, from a salvage company, 25 impressive statues that used to feature in the Bank’s New Change annex are now for sale.

New Change was built by The Bank of England in the 1950's to accommodate it's Accounts Department and was bounded by Cheapside to the north, Watling Street to the south, Bread Street to the east, Newgate to the north west and New Change to the west. The building occupied a sensitive site in that it formed a backdrop to Christopher Wren's majestic Roman Baroque St Paul's Cathedral.

The statues include Mervyn King’s predecessor, Sir John Houblon, the first Governor of the Bank, who features on the £50 note, and Michael Godfrey, its first deputy governor. Soldiers and heraldic symbols, such as lions and unicorns, dominate the collection. They are carved from Portland stone by sculptors including Sir Charles Wheeler, the first to be president of the Royal Academy, were cleared from the One New Change site, after it was bought by Land Securities for about £200 million in 2000. The developer is erecting a 560,000 sq ft Jean Nouvel office block on the site, which held the Bank’s accounts department.

George Westland, founder of Westland London, said: “There has been interest from Russia because St George is the patron saint of Moscow. In London, there is still a reluctance to be seen to spend money.”


Above: A lion holding a shield with a relief head of Minerva, one of a pair, sculptor Donald Gilbert. Originally on the Bread Street Facade of the One New Change building in the City of London.


Above: The fortress of gold guarded by lions, sculptor Alan Collins, circa 1958.

Westlands

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