Thursday 10 July 2014

Sekhemka Sold!

Another art controversy came to a head today. Christie's in London sold this Egyptian limestone statue of Sekhemka, Inspector of Scribes of the Royal Court (c. 2400-2300 B.C.) for nearly £16 million. The statue was originally estimated at £4-£6m. Northampton Borough Council put it up for auction hoping to raise money towards a £14m extension to Northampton Museum and Art Gallery. The Egyptian ambassador to Great Britain is furious, because he wanted Sekhemka returned to Egypt. Arts Council England is furious, because this rare artwork should have been kept in trust for the public, and it has threatened the museum with loss of its accreditation status. This would mean loss of future grants and funding from ACE and the Heritage Lottery Fund (CLICK). By the way, the small woman touching Sekhemka's leg is his wife Sitmerit. Her size represents her relative lack of importance.


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