“I am very angry and upset,” told AFP one of the demonstrators, Magda Sakr, an Egyptian of 50 years based in the United Kingdom. The object of the wrath? The auction of a portrait sculpture of the pharaoh Tutankhamun for nearly five million pounds on Thursday at the London auctions, despite the wrath of the Cairo, which considers the work fly, and had demanded the cancellation of the sale.
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This head of quartzite and brown 28.5 cm high, that dates back more than 3,000 years, has been sold more than 4.7 million pounds (5.3 million euros) on Thursday night by Christie s. The name of the purchaser remains unknown. This piece dating from the period amarnienne represents the god Amun in the guise of the “boy pharaoh”, who came to the throne at nine years of age. It recognizes her mouth plump, her almond eyes and high cheekbones.
the announcement of The sale had sparked the fury of Egypt, who claimed in vain at the auction house in london to give it up. Thursday evening, a dozen people waving flags of egyptians have demonstrated in the vicinity of the auction room, with small placards proclaiming “The story of egypt is not for sale” and “Stop the trafficking of antiquities”.
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Tutankhamun : the pharaoh mysterious Look on Figaro Live
“I was hoping that the sale be cancelled,” added Magda Sakr, believing that the portrait “should be in a museum, not in somebody’s home”. “It’s part of our history, it is one of our kings the most well-known”, she stressed. The egyptian ministry of Antiquities announced that it would hold a special meeting at the beginning of the next week.
“The egyptian government will take all necessary measures to recover the egyptian antiquities have left Egypt illegally,” he said in a press release. On Wednesday, the ministry regretted that Christie’s is organising a sale “with egyptian artifacts, including the head of Tutankhamun, with no make sure of (getting) papers” necessary to the sale.
“The owners have provided false information,”
Christie’s has assured to have “conducted in-depth investigations to verify the origin and legal status of the object”: it “is not and has not been investigated and no concerns have ever been raised about it, although its existence is widely known and has been publicly exposed”.
The former egyptian minister of Antiquities, Zahi Hawass, has told AFP that the sculpture had “left the country in the 1970s because at that time, other old objects of the same nature have been stolen from the temple of Karnak”, in Luxor. “The owners have provided false information”, has advanced this world-famous egyptian archaeologist.
The battle for the return of ancient treasures
The bust of Tutankhamun, which had been bought in 1985 with Heinz Herzer, an art dealer in Munich (Germany). He was previously in the hands of Joseph Messina, an Austrian who had acquired about 1973-1974 with the prince Wilhelm von Thurn und Taxis, which would have been in its possession since the 1960’s, assured Christie s. However, the son and the niece of Wilhelm von Thurn und Taxis, Viktor and Daria, told the website Live Science that he did not remember the existence of this piece. Wilhelm von Thurn und Taxis “was not a person very interested in art,” added his niece.
The statements that have added grist to the mill of Egypt, which for years has fought to obtain the restitution of works of art, Rich in archaeological treasures, this country recovers regularly from abroad of the ancient artifacts stolen. At the same time, The Cairo campaign for the repatriation of objects currently being exhibited in european museums, such as the famous bust of Nefertiti in Berlin and the Rosetta stone on display in the British museum in London.
” SEE ALSO – Tutankhamun – The adventure continues
Tutankhamun – The adventure continues – Look on Figaro Live