30 March 2015
From the section Northampton
Northampton Borough Council said the statue was sold to help fund a museum extension
A 4,000-year-old Egyptian statue that was controversially sold by a council for £15.76m will not be allowed to leave the country, Culture Minister Ed Vaizey has said.
Northampton Borough Council sold the Sekhemka statue to an overseas buyer in July to help fund an extension to the town’s museum and art gallery.
But Ed Vaizey has placed a temporary export ban on the statue, which was “gifted” to the council in 1880.
The council has yet to comment.
Protesters gathered outside Christie’s before the sale, the council has since been banned from the Museums Association and has had a Heritage Lottery Fund bid rejected as a consequence.
The statue of Sekhemka – who was a royal chief, judge and administrator – shows him reading a scroll
Mr Vaizey made the decision 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.
The RCEWA said the statue was of “outstanding aesthetic importance” and was significant in the study of “the development of private statuary and funerary religion in Egypt and the history of human self-representation”.
A decision on the export licence application has been deferred until 29 July.
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Source:: BBC Entertainment