Monday, 30 March 2015

Export Licence Application on Sekhemka

It (only) now transpires that Northampton Borough Council sold the Sekhemka statue to an overseas buyer, but while the current owner's identity and location have not been released (it is rumoured to be one of the Gulf States), Ed Vaizey has placed a temporary export ban on the statue following a recommendation by the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest (RCEWA), which is administered by Arts Council England. Here is a statement by the Save Sekhemka Action Group.  Sekhemka's statue stays in Britain (probably in rich-man's storage somewhere) until 29 July. Still, at least the new owner asked. One suspects certain other people would try to get him out in a shipment of 'garden furniture' or something and other collectors apparently simply do not understand the notion of "export licence". 

UPDATE 31th March 2015
There is a good summary of the ethical problems involved in the export ban by 'Pipeline' (Andy Brockman) here: 'Ethical Dilemma as Vaizy [sic] blocks export of Sekhemka', the Pipeline March 31 2015. It transpires from this that Cllr David Mackintosh (Leader of Northampton Borough Council) who was behind this sale is Prospective Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Northampton South. Meanwhile local authorities in Northampton continue to exhibit a shocking degree of cultural philistinism. I am glad I do not live there.

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