RECORD numbers of visitors are flocking to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
And delighted staff expect even more visitors in the coming weeks – thanks to a stunning new exhibition of works by Castleford-born sculptor Henry Moore.
The first giant sculptures have been craned into place in the fields at the Bretton Park in a major logistical operation and all will be ready by the end of next week.
The five new pieces have been loaned to the Sculpture Park by the Henry Moore foundation.
It was a delicate operation for park staff.
Each of the pieces had to be crated up and driven to the park and then carefully lifted into place in the grounds overlooking the ornamental lake.
Park staff then spent many hours replacing turf and gardens around each piece.
They are delighted with their new acquisitions. Park spokesman Victoria Collins said: “We are hoping they will be very popular in the weeks and months ahead.
“We have just recorded our best-ever visitor figures for April, up 100% on last year.
“We had 45,000 visitors to the Park last month and many of those came to see the exhibition by Jaume Plensa, which features the stunning giant heads.
“We expect the Moore works to be just as popular”.
Peter Murray, Executive Director of the Sculpture Park, said: “Henry Moore often talked of the influence on his work of growing up in Yorkshire, and how this informed the way he related sculpture to landscape.
“He was the first patron of YSP, and during a visit to YSP in 1979 he expressed a strong wish to site his work in the Country Park.
“This area is now one of the most popular areas of the Park, and we are delighted that visitors will have the chance to experience new works alongside familiar favourites this year”.
Moore’s work has been the subject of extensive exhibitions worldwide, from a large retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1946, to the most recent at Tate Britain in 2010, which opened in Leeds Art Gallery in March 2011.