CASH strapped chiefs in Southampton have been urged to rethink the sale of public art to pay the bills after one of London’s poorest boroughs decided to sell a £20m sculpture.

A controversial plan to sell off valuable masterpieces lying hidden in Southampton’s Civic Centre was shelved two years ago in the face of fierce opposition.

But last night there were renewed calls for art to be sold in the city as Labour council leaders finalise plans to tackle the city’s worst ever financial crisis.

It comes after a decision by a London council with a £100m funding gap agreed to sell of a bronze by Henry Moore bronze valued at up to £20m.

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