Contact Us
Make My Homepage

Egypt challenges sale of valuable ancient statue

LONDON (AP) — Egypt is challenging a British museum’s planned sale of a 4,000-year-old Egyptian statue that is expected to fetch up to 6 million pounds ($10 million) at a London auction.

Former antiquities minister Zahi Hawass told the BBC Wednesday that the Northampton Museum and Art Gallery, 106 kilometers (66 miles) north of London, has no right to sell the statue.

“We are not asking for the statue to come back to Egypt but we are asking to stop the sale of the statue,” he said. The position is endorsed by Mamdouh el-Damaty, the current antiquities minister.

Egypt is challenging a British museum’s planned sale of this 4,000-year-old Egyptian statue expected to fetch up to 6 million pounds ($10 million) at auction in London. (AP Photo/Christie’s)

The Northampton Borough Council owns the statue and says it wants to sell the work to fund an expansion of the museum, which claims to hold the world’s largest historic shoe collection.

The plan is drawing some criticism at home as well. Alice Stevenson, curator at London’s Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, said selling such a rare and unique statue undermines the purpose of a museum.

“It should not be used to plug a hole in a local council budget,” she said.

Auction house Christie’s, which is putting the statue up for sale Thursday, said in a statement that there are no grounds to postpone the sale.

Northampton Council said it will share 45 percent of proceeds with Lord Northampton, whose family acquired the item in Egypt in 1849 or 1850, and donated it to the Northampton museum in 1880. The Egyptian collection is small and is not central to the museum’s purpose, a council spokeswoman said.

The 75 centimeter (30 inches) high limestone statue depicts an official named Sekhema with his wife, and is believed to come from the Royal Cemeteries at Saqqara, south of Giza.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Best of the Web


Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://nj1015.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on New Jersey 101.5 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here

Register on New Jersey 101.5 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!