Wednesday, 23 March 2011

"Pharaoh's Statues" Identified

Readers might remember a news item I covered a while ago about the seizure of some ancient Egyptian statues by Algerian authorities. The same story was covered by others, such as Kate Phizackerley, but the information appears to have been rejected because photos in the article taken to be of the objects were clearly fakes. I suggested at the time however that the photos used may have been stock photos rather than the objects involved in the seizure.

I was right, just a little to the east of Hatshepsut's Valley Temple in Gurna (West Bank, near Luxor), is an alabaster factory, Zalat. It is highly decorated with all sorts of paintings and sculpture, among them the heads shown in the Algerian newspaper article, which had obviously used the picture as a space-filler (you can see part of the word 'alabaster' in the photo behind them). The items pictured never left Egypt.

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