Those Paolozzi mosaics from Tottenham Court Road station are being moved to Edinburgh

Emma Haslett
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The mosaics were installed at the station in 1984 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

When the first part of the new-look Tottenham Court Road station opened at the end of last year, one thing was conspicuous by its absence: the raft of mosaics by post-war sculptor Eduardo Paolozzi, installed at the station in 1984.

Since then, passengers have complained vociferously about the absence of the brightly-coloured mosaics, which appear to have been replaced with a more minimalist (/drab) concrete-and-metal aesthetic.

But today Transport for London (TfL) finally explained what's to become of the artworks. They're being moved to Scotland.

London's transport authority said that while 95 per cent of the mosaics will remain in situ at Tottenham Court Road station (presumably in the Central Line part, which has been closed since the end of last year as the station is remodelled in advance of the arrival of Crossrail), the rest will be transferred to the Edinbugh College of Art, where they'll be restored by students training in conservation.

Paolizzi would be proud: the artist studied at the college in 1943, becoming a visiting professor later on.

"A new undergraduate programme, Edinburgh Collections, will incorporate the Paolizzi mosaics project from the next academic year.

"In the next few years, the pieces will be photographed and digitally mapped, allowing experts to virtually reconstruct the art work before they are physically reassembled by students, researchers and ceramics conservators for public display."

Meanwhile, the brightest works, installed in the Oxford Street entrance of Tottenham Court Road Tube station, will be "conserved and carefully relocated within the new station".

"Eduardo Paolozzi was one of the most important British artists of the late twentieth century, whose art captured the breadth of the modern world," said Toby Treves, of the Paolozzi Foundation.

"His work at Tottenham Court Road station has delighted Tube passengers for over 30 years and will continue to do so far into the future. The work with Edinburgh will provide a fitting home for the pieces that could not be accommodated at the station as it is modernised. It will also serve to further promote public appreciation of the fine arts and the extraordinary contribution of Eduardo Paolozzi."

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