The decision by Tower Hamlets Council to sell the Henry Moore statue "Old Flo" has been criticised by an east London MP during a Westminster Hall debate on 19 December 2012.
Rushanara Ali, the Labour MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, described the statue as "a very special East End treasure" and said the decision was "against the very wishes of Moore".
The council - which has an independently run Mayor and Cabinet - decided to sell the statue because it must make savings of £100m, in the next two years.
However Ms Ali said it was a "fire sale brought on by profligacy and waste".
The work was bought by Greater London Council, which was abolished in 1986, and the Art Fund charity claims the ownership did not automatically transfer to the council, meaning a legal challenge is underway.
Intended by the late artist Moore, who died in 1986, to be displayed in an underprivileged area, it is currently on loan to Yorkshire Sculpture Park in Wakefield after it was vandalised with graffiti when situated in the Stifford Estate in Tower Hamlets.