Karnak Temple in Luxor, Egypt.
In a few days, a statue of Tutankhamun is to be auctioned off in London. Egypt is trying to oppose this transaction for the following reason: the statue was allegedly stolen from its lands.
The Egyptian Embassy in London has made a request to the British Foreign Office. She wants to prevent the sale of a sculpture depicting the head of Pharaoh Tutankhamun. The sale is scheduled for July.
Christie’s, in charge of the sale, ensures that it is in compliance with the law. In a press release, it retraces the history of the acts of purchase and the owners of the statue. It also states that it “adheres to bilateral treaties and international laws while respecting cultural property and heritage”.
The statue, estimated at more than £4 million, or €4.5 million, is believed by the Egyptian authorities to have been stolen. According to Zahi Hawass, the former Egyptian Minister of Antiquities, she was “from Karnak“, a religious complex in Luxor, and left Egyptian territory in 1970.
Egypt is not at its first attempt since it managed, a few months ago, to cancel another sale, and repatriate a fragment representing an attribute of King Amenhotep I.