Tut tut Christie’s! That’s our King Tut, say Egyptians


Tut tut Christie’s! That’s our King Tut, say Egyptians

A 3,000-year-old head of the pharaoh is subject of a bitter dispute between auction house and Egyptian government

Tymon Smith

A 3,000-year-old, brown quartzite head of King Tutankhamun is the subject of a bitter dispute between international auction house Christie’s and the Egyptian government.

The statue is listed as part of an upcoming Christie’s sale in London on July 4 and is expected to fetch more than £4m (about R75m). Egyptian authorities however, who in recent years have been fighting against the sale of looted antiquities, have questioned whether the auction house can provide any proof that the statue ever legally left Egypt.

Egypt’s supreme council for antiquities believes that the statue was stolen from the Karnak temple complex in the city of Luxor and have called on the auction house to halt the sale until they can check – going so far as to say that they will approach Egypt’s foreign ministry and ambassador in London to ensure a stop to the sale...

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