CAIRO: A number of Egyptian and British people protested Sunday outside Christie’s auction house against transporting the sold Egyptian Sekhemka statute out of Britain, calling for returning it home.
The protest was staged to remark the first anniversary of selling the 4,200-year-old statue; On July 11, the Northampton Borough Council sold the limestone statue of Sekhemka at an auction by Christie’s for £15,762,500 ($23.3 million.)
“Britons participated with us in all protests and demonstrations held outside the Hall of Auctions and Christie Hall to denounce the ongoing secrecy about the fate of the statue and lack of action to return it to Egypt,” Magda Sakr, an Egyptian expat in London, told Youm7.
The protesters demanded that the imminent exit of the statue out of British territories should be stopped before the end of a four-month export ban on the statue.
On March 30, British Culture Minister Ed Vaizey issued a four-month temporary export ban on the limestone figure following a recommendation by the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest (RCEWA,) administered by the Arts Council England, BBC reported Monday.
The protesters voiced their concerns that the unknown buyer could get it out the British territories to unknown place; they raised signs against the sale of the statue, chanting “Egyptian history not for Sale,” and “We want Sakhemeka back home,” and “hands off Egyptian treasures.”