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Sculptor's daughter loses legacy battle

The sculptor Henry Moore's daughter Mary yesterday lost the latest round in her battle to gain control of millions of pounds' worth of her father's work.

Mary Spencer Moore Danowski, 49, had appealed against a 1993 High Court ruling relating to the ownership of her father's enormous artistic output between 1977 and his death, aged 88, in 1986.

She and her mother helped the sculptor set up the charitable Henry Moore Foundation in 1976. In 1977, Moore became an employee of the foundation's trading arm, HMF Enterprises, because of his worry over tax liabilities. The foundation's studios and 70-acre garden at the sculptor's former home, Hoglands, near Much Hadham in Hertfordshire, contain more than 600 priceless Moore sculptures. Mrs Danowski claimed that Moore's artist's copies of the 215 bronzes he produced during this period were the sculptor's property and became part of his estate after his death.

But Lord Justice Nourse, sitting in the Court of Appeal, upheld the 1993 judgment, ruling that the 1977 agreement stated plainly that HMF Enterprises had ownership of any future work, including artist's copies.

Mrs Danowski, who was not in court to hear the judgment, was ordered to pay the costs of the appeal, and was refused leave for a further appeal to the House of Lords.