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Page last updated at 11:22 GMT, Tuesday, 18 January 2011
Braintree art foundry looks to middle eastern markets
A bronze of LS Lowry
One of the current projects is a statue of artist LS Lowry

An Essex foundry which was saved from closure last year is expanding into the lucrative middle eastern markets.

The Zahra Modern Art Foundries took over the Morris Singer Foundry business in June 2010 after the historic company was forced into administration.

Its owner Nasser Azam told BBC Essex it was pressing ahead with its plans to take the company into the middle east.

"One of the aims is to try to export our talent, as a result we hope to expand into those markets" he said.

"In fact we've recently opened an office in Dubai and have just completed a large monumental sculpture for the opening of the Mathaf [in Qatar] which is the biggest contemporary museum in the middle east.

"So that's a stepping stone in terms of the expansion that we want to go into in those middle eastern markets."

The company, which in its Morris Singer guise was one of the most famous foundries in the world, went into receivership last May.

It was bought by the contemporary artist and former city banker and renamed after his daughter.

Managing director Jim Guy explained that with its difficulties behind it, the company was in a good position to survive the current economic climate.

Bronze of a young cricketer
The world renowned foundry is based on an industrial estate in Braintree

"The thing is with the larger scale work is the money for these sort of projects has been in place for a long time," he said.

"So I don't think realistically the economic climate at the moment should affect some of those big projects.

"Some of them will take years. For example the Byrhtnoth sculpture at Maldon by John Doubleday was originally commissioned in the 1970s."

Among the projects being worked on at the foundry now are a statue of the artist LS Lowry which is destined for Manchester and a young cricketer which has been commissioned by his father.

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