Wednesday 18 June 2014

Dancing with Sekhemka

Christies, "be amazed, be inspired" Hmmm.
On the video attached to the post 'Sekhemka has already left Northampton' Friday, 6 June 2014, we can see some pretty appalling treatment of an ancient Egyptian statue. It is wheeled into the shot on a low cart, it is not centrally placed on it, but near one edge, it is not secured in any way. There is nothing under the statue to cushion it, the soft limestone has just been dumped onto the wood. Once again we see the trade treating antiquities like sacks of potatoes. The trolley is being steered by a young man manhandling the shoulders of the fragile ancient statue, placing the ancient stone under goodness knows what stress. The man is holding the statue with his bare sweaty hands, putting grease and chlorides into the stone. He has not removed his metal ring which is in contact with the soft limestone. This is not in a provincial museum in Northampton who do not value such items, it is filmed happening in Christies. Does the auction house have formulated policies for handling ancient artefacts and is what we see on this video in full accord with those principles? How come?

The object goes on sale on 10th July when one hopes it will end up in the hands of those who will treat it with less disregard than we see here.

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