Monday, 2 May 2011

Citizens Foil Sale of Pharaonic Statuette

Meanwhile heartening news from Egypt, citizens are reported to have foiled an illicit transaction involving an antiquity (Hassan Ahmed Hussine, 'Sale of pharaonic statuette foiled', Al-Masry Al-Youm 01/05/2011).
Egypt's security authorities foiled the attempted sale of a statuette that investigators said carries pharaonic inscriptions. The piece is 50cm tall and stands on a 50cm wide platform. In front of it there are three other statuettes, each 21cm high. The two culprits, aged 39 and 36, were arrested after citizens informed security authorities of their possession and the intended sale. Both are unemployed. One said during initial questioning that he had agreed with his partner to hide the object in his house until the deal went through. He said they had obtained the statuette through a middleman from Luxor.
The description is most intriguing. Is the suggestion that the piece was dug up in illicit diggings in the Luxor region?

Vignette. I do not know, but maybe its something like this?

UPDATE 11.05.11
Aha! More details from the Luxor Times ('Granite statue of a Ramesside priest found genuine',11 May 2011):
A statue was seized and kept at a Police station in south Cairo and a committee was formed from the Ministry of Antiquities to check if it is genuine. The committee confirmed the authenticity of the granite statue which dated back to the Ramesside period (ca. 1300 B.C) The statue represents a priest sitting with 3 figures represents Osiris, Isis and a priest. The statue bears hieroglyphic depictions. The pink granite statue measures 56 cm high a d 28 cm wide.
They seem to love creating "commissions" instead of getting an expert opinion. Anyway, this is what it looked like - my guess, a shot in the dark, was pretty close, eh? I imagine that weights a bit, rather more than could go in a big bag on the train.

So, the seizure was apparently in south Cairo. I wonder if the two men already had established how they were going to get the item onto the market?

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