CAIRO: A pink granite statue of the ancient Egyptian war Goddess Sekhmet is up for sale at the US-based Sotheby’s auction house for $3-5 million.
The lot, which dates back to the reign of the 18th Dynasty Pharaoh Amenhotep III (1403 B.C-1365 B.C.,) is a part of a collection of “Ancient Egyptian Sculpture & Works of Art” offered for sale Dec. 8.
The lion-headed goddess seated against a back pillar with her hands resting by her knees, the right hand open, the left hand holding an ankh, and wearing a long close-fitting dress with a broad collar, according to Sotheby’s website.
The collection comprises of 46 artifacts dating back to several eras of the pharaonic period (3200 B.C.-332 B.C.)
Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al Damaty Friday the ministry has taken “all legal measures” to stop the sale of the collection along with other sets of authentic artifacts up for sale in the U.K.’s Christie’s and France’s Mellon auction houses.
Damaty said has sent the photos to all museums, archaeological sites and antiquities storerooms across the country to check if those pieces were stolen from them or taken during illegal excavations so as to take the necessary measures to repatriate them, according to the statement.
Egypt’s political turmoil since the January 25 Revolution in 2011 and its consequent security lapse have left the country’s cultural heritage vulnerable to looting.
During the past four years, Egypt has recovered more than 1,600 artifacts and is currently working on other cases in many European countries, Ahmed said.