UPDATE: Egypt’s local digest Oct.16: Sekhemka statue sold off at Christie’s is now in US: document suggests
Sekhemka Statue.- AFP/Leon Neal.
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CAIRO: No more browsing from site to site, view the top local news stories on Oct.16 here:

Sekhemka statue sold off at Christie’s is now in US: document suggests 

The ancient Egyptian Sekhemka statue, which was sold in the U.K.’s Christie’s auction house in July, has reportedly ended up at the U.S., according to a document released by the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) documentation.

According to the document, an application was made to export the 4,200-year-old masterpiece to the United States.

In July 2014 the Northampton Borough Council (NBC) sold the statue of the Egyptian royal scribe Sekhemka, by auction at Christie’s in London to help fund an extension to the town’s museum. The statue was sold to an anonymous buyer for £15.76 million ($20 million.)

The motion infuriated a wide range of people inside and outside Northampton and caused outrage among historians and Egyptologists. It also raised a number of ethical and legal questions arising from the sale of the statue.

In October, 2015, British Culture Minister Ed Vaizey has decided to initiate a second deferral period on the export license application of the statue till March 29, 2016.

Unfortunately, at the end of the initial deferral period in March 29, 2016, no offer to purchase the painting had been made, therefore an export license was issued by the DCMS.

The painted limestone statue, measuring 30 inches high and 12.5 inches wide, belonged to an ancient Egyptian court official and scribe during the fifth dynasty (2400 B.C–2300 B.C.) It was excavated from the Sakkara archaeological site, 26 kilometers south of the Giza Pyramids.

“The statue was originally acquired by Spencer Compton, the second Marquis of Northampton during his trip to Egypt in 1849 to 1850,” former head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Abdel Halim Nour el-Din was quoted by Al-Ahram.

It was given to the Northampton Museum either by the third or fourth Marquis of Northampton prior to 1880, Nour el-Din added.

 

Egypt’s poverty rate rises to 27.8 % in 2015: CAPMAS

About 27.8 per cent of the Egyptian population is currently living below the poverty line, according to a Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS) survey on the international day to combat poverty.

According to the report, the Egyptian poverty line stands at an income of 482 EGP (about $53) per month while the extreme poverty line stands at 322 EGP ($36); 48 percent higher than in 2012/2013.

Graphs provided by the agency also indicated that 56.8 percent of those living in Upper Egypt’s rural areas cannot meet their basic needs, compared to 19.7% in the Nile Delta’s rural areas.

 

Egypt’s Dar al Iftaa to hold int’l conf. on Muslim minorities in Europe

Egypt’s Dar al-Iftaa will be hosting an international conference under the title, “Scholarly Preparation, Fatwa Issuance Training for Imams in Muslim Minority Communities.”

The conference, scheduled to be held on October 17-18, will discuss a number of issues relating to Muslim minorities in western countries and covers the mannerism on how to prepare Imams to handle extremism and encounter the challenges facing Muslim communities, Dar al Iftaa announced in a statement.

Grand Imam of Al Azhar Ahmed al-Tayyeb will deliver the conference’s inauguration speech on Monday.

Multi-Regional delegations from 80 countries are to participate in the two-day conference.

 

Egypt to issue free IDs for blind people to mark White Cane Day: interior min.

Egypt’s Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar announced that blind people will be granted national identity cards free of charge, Youm7 reported Sunday.

The move comes as part of the ministry’s participation in celebrations of White Cane Safety Day

The White Cane Safety Day is a national observance in the United States, celebrated on October 15 of each year since 1964. The date is set aside to celebrate the achievements of people who are blind or visually impaired.

 

39 Egyptians arrested in Libya over illegal entry

A total of 39 Egyptian nationals were arrested in Libya’s cities of Benghazi and Ajdabiya, by illegal immigration forces that belong to the Libyan interim government, Youm7 reported.

A Libyan military source told Youm7 Sunday that the migrants illegally entered into Libyan soil, attempting to travel via the sea to Italy.

Three among the arrested Egyptians hold Libyan nationality.

 

Blind citizens to get national IDs free of charge – Minister

National IDs will be issued free of charge for Blind citizens across the country within this week, according to directive by the Minister of Interior Magdy Abdel Ghaffar.

 

3 illegal immigration agents sentenced to 3 yrs in prison

Alexandria Court ruled Sunday to sentence three accused of being illegal immigration agents to three years in prison with hard labor each, Youm7 reported.

The defendants were arrested while attempting to smuggle 207 unregsitered migrants from different nationalities to Italy.

They face charges of human trafficking, smuggling in persons and fraudlty.

 

Army kills 40 terrorists in Sinai, thwarts 10 possible attacks

Counter-terrorism forces in Sinai killed 40 terrorists and thwarted three attempted attacks, Youm7 reported Sunday.

A security source said that military operations targeted hotbeds in South Arish, Central Sinai, South Sheikh Zuwayed and Rafah.

The armed forces annoucned that Egyptian jets bombed Islamist militant targets for three hours on Saturday, one day after Islamic State guerrillas killed 12 soldiers in North Sinai province.

 

28.5 mln Tamil tablets seized at East Port Said port

Customs authorities thwarted Sunday a smuggling attempt of 28.5 million Tamil tablets inside 570 boxes at East Port Said port, Youm7 reported.

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