The process leading to the multi-million pound sale of an Egyptian statue by Northampton Borough Council contravened museum accreditation standards, Arts Council England has ruled today. As a result of the £16 million Sekhemka sale in London last month, the two museums managed by Northampton Borough Council, Northampton Museum and Art Gallery and Abington Park Museum, have been removed from the Arts Council’s Accreditation Scheme, effective as of today. The have also been excluded from future participation for a minimum period of five years, until at least August 2019. Scott Furlong, director of acquisitions, exports and loans unit at the Arts Council said: “It is always hugely regrettable when we have to exclude a museum from the Accreditation Scheme. “However, it is equally important that we are robust in upholding the standards and principles which underpin the scheme and are shared by the vast majority of museums.”So that's their archaeology unit and their museum funding gone in a year...
UPDATE 1.08.14 As a colleague notes:
David Mackintosh said on BBCNorthampton 'he did not see why this should happen' He'll be resigning now?See also: Gareth Harris, 'Arts Council England takes action against Northampton after controversial sale', Art Newspaper 01 August 2014.
BBC, 'Sekhemka statue: Northampton Museum loses Art Council accreditation', 01 August 2014.