Egypt Goes after Christie’s for Auction of Its Relic

The country has instructed a law firm in the UK to file a civil suit over the sale last week of a Tutankhamun bust. The sculpture of the pharaoh was bought for $6m at Christie’s auction house in London, despite Egypt warning it was probably stolen in the 1970s. Christie’s said all necessary checks were made over the bust’s provenance, and that its sale was legal and valid. It stated that Germany’s Prince Wilhelm von Thurn und Taxis reputedly had it in his collection by the 1960s, and that it was acquired by an Austrian dealer in 1973-4. The Egyptian National Committee for Antiquities Repatriation expressed its “deep discontent of the unprofessional way in which the Egyptian artefacts were sold without the provision of the ownership documents and proof that that the artefacts left Egypt in a legitimate manner”. The 3,000-year-old, brown quartzite bust was part of a statue of the God Amun, the most important deity of the New Kingdom, according to Christie’s. The auction house said the facial features were the same as those of the young pharaoh, who ruled between 1333 and 1323BC.SOURCE: BBC

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