UK museum selling artefact, officials to take legal action

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UK museum selling artefact, officials to take legal action

Post by DJKeefy » Sun Jul 06, 2014 9:46 pm

UK museum selling Egyptian artefact, officials to take legal action.

Egypt's antiquities ministry has asked the Egyptian embassy in London to take all legal procedures to prevent an ancient statue from being sold in a Christie's auction later this week.

The statue, of Egyptian scribe Sekhemka, was put on Christie's auction list by Northampton Museum and will go on sale in four days.

Sekhemka is a 2300 BC limestone statue from the fifth ancient Egyptian dynasty and depicts the scribe with his wife sitting beside his legs. It is 75 cm tall and 29.5 cm wide.

The statue was a centrepiece at Northampton Museum, which sent it to auction at Christie's in London as part of its exceptional 2014 sale later this week.

Antiquities Minister Mamdouh El-Damati has denounced the sale of the statue and described the museum's actions as incompatible with the values and role of museums worldwide, which he said should "spread culture" and not try to simply earn money.

He called on the International Council of Museums (ICOM) to stop the sale on the grounds that it goes against the council's ethics.

Ali Ahmed, head of the ministry's stolen antiquities section, explained that the Sekhemka statue was given to Northampton Museum at the end of the 18th century by an Ottoman sultan and has been a part of the museum's collection on display since 1849.

The London-based Museums Association has sent a final warning to Northampton Borough Council saying it will review the authority's membership status if it sells off the ancient Egyptian statue.

A petition and a campaign have also appeared on Facebook to stop the sale.

Source: http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/105605.aspx


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Re: UK museum selling artefact, officials to take legal acti

Post by Brian Yare » Mon Jul 07, 2014 5:31 pm

A museum is a business and (subject to any conditions imposed by those who donated items) should be allowed to trade any items in its possession.
Northampton has a very small Egyptology collection, and could use the proceeds from this statue to advance according to its mission statement.
I have no objection to the sale.

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Re: UK museum selling artefact, officials to take legal acti

Post by newcastle » Mon Jul 07, 2014 7:03 pm

Talk about a storm in a teacup :lol:

The item hasn't been on display for the last 3 years and it's by no means clear whether the museum (actually the Council) even owns it...which is why the proceeds are to be divided 55%/45% between the present Marquess of Northampton and the Northampton Borough Council.

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Re: UK museum selling artefact, officials to take legal acti

Post by Bombay » Mon Jul 07, 2014 9:22 pm

http://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/news/ ... -1-6128571

The move has been publicly denounced by both the Arts Council of England and the Museums Association, which both said the move could risk the museum losing its accredited status and, in turn, its ability to apply for major grant funding from various bodies.

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Re: UK museum selling artefact, officials to take legal acti

Post by newcastle » Mon Jul 07, 2014 10:01 pm

The flak that the Museum is getting over this sale principally concerns the use of the proceeds....not the sale itself. Museums do sell items from time to time but it's been a 'sacred cow' that the proceeds should be used only to fund the purchase of other exhibits. This requirement is constantly under discussion and it may be that the boundaries need to be relaxed (to a limited extent) in the present day & age.

It will be interesting to see if the Northampton Museum decides to ignore the potential (but by no means certain) risk and press ahead with the sale.

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Re: UK museum selling artefact, officials to take legal acti

Post by Bombay » Mon Jul 07, 2014 10:11 pm

Yes I agree the sale of Museum artifacts should not be used to prop up the council even if its to do up the museum itself.

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Re: UK museum selling artefact, officials to take legal acti

Post by DJKeefy » Fri Jul 11, 2014 12:00 pm

Ancient Egyptian statue sells for £16 million in UK despite outcry.

A 4,000-year-old Egyptian statue has been sold for just over £15 million at an auction at Christie’s in London, despite the Egyptian government’s outcry and strong criticism inside the UK.

The sculpture, which depicts Sekhemka, inspector of royal scribes, is being sold by Northampton Borough Council. It was originally acquired by the 2nd Marquess of Northampton during his travels in Egypt in 1849-50 and was given to Northampton Museum either by the 3rd or 4th Marquess of Northampton prior to 1880.

The auction was interrupted by some Egyptians who were trying to stop the controversial sale. During the bidding, the group started shouting inside the auction room.

“You are selling antiquities stolen from Egypt! You will not be allowed to go with it!” shouted one.

Northampton Borough Council, which claims absolute ownership of the statue, plans to use the money to help fund a £14 million extension to Northampton Museum and Art Gallery.

However, Arts Council England has warned that if the sale goes through, the museum could lose its accreditation status.

Ashraf El-Kholy, Egypt' s ambassador to the UK, has pledged to challenge the sale which he described as "illegal". "Today's sale is not the end of it," he told Ahram Online.

According to the inscription on the statue’s base, it depicts a man who was inspector of the scribes of the royal court.

Christie’s London’s Director and Head of Antiquities Georgiana Aitken said that Sekhemka ranks as the most important Egyptian sculpture ever to come to market.

"Christie’s is honoured to present it," she added.

Renowned comic book writer Alan Moore has commented that the sale "could only be catastrophic."

He was quoted as saying that the planned sale is "undercutting one of the fundamental principles by which museums acquire artefacts in their collections.”

Moore, from Northampton, added: “I have donated things to the museum. But I would not be able to do that again in the knowledge that at some point in the future that gifts, made in good faith, could be sold off by a council."

Some reports say by putting the invaluable statue on sale, Northampton Borough Council violated the terms of gifting agreement between the Marquess of Northampton and Northampton Museum.

Christie’s and the council insist the sale is legal.

Source: http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/105963.aspx
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Re: UK museum selling artefact, officials to take legal acti

Post by Who2 » Fri Jul 11, 2014 1:55 pm

16 million quid for a statue, and you wonder why the age-old art of thieving antiques is still prevalent, I prefer to call it relocation and over here it feeds family's you with your western values and storerooms overflowing with unknown unrecorded artifacts.
16 million quid! 'the worlds gone mad.... :cool:
Ps: take a gander at old Shaun here from Bolton, he had over a few museums gawd bless him.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaun_Greenhalgh
And this is the most important factor: it was the credibility of the provenances that went with them."
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Sophocles.

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Re: UK museum selling artefact, officials to take legal acti

Post by Dusak » Fri Jul 11, 2014 2:57 pm

And people still except the fact blindly that an expert is an expert and what they know and state has to be accepted without question.
Life is your's to do with as you wish- do not let other's try to control it for you. Count Dusak- 1345.

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Re: UK museum selling artefact, officials to take legal acti

Post by carrie » Fri Jul 11, 2014 5:13 pm

Bolton Museum had quite an extensive Egyptian Department and I remember seeing some of the articles described on display there.

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