Saturday 6 August 2011

Stolen Pieces from Amenhotep III Temple Turn up in London Auction House

First reports are emerging that four New Kingdom antiquities were seized when an American collector tried to sell them "in a specialized auction house" in London. A British Museum trustee stopped the auction and confirmed that the pieces were genuine.
A team of English, Egyptian and German researchers was formed to examine the artifacts, which proved their origin, the pieces had been removed from the base of an ancient statue of Amnehotep III in his mortuary temple in Luxor, the statement said. It added that three are heads with Asian features and the fourth is a cartouche that belonged to the pharaoh.
The Egyptian Gazette added the detail that the commission had determined that the objects had been stolen from the Kom El-Hittan storeroom when there had been a fire there. The antiquities authorities in Egypt are coordinating with the Egyptian embassy in London to set a date for transporting the artefacts back to Egypt. Let us see what, if any, other information emerges.

UPDATE: See now David Gill's blog, who I was hoping would be able to name that auction house. Sadly a veil of discretion has been drawn over it for the moment anyway." London market and the American collector: pieces to return to Egypt".

Vignette: Nebmaatre cartouche of one of my favourite Pharaohs

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