The International Council of Museums’ Committee for Egyptology (ICOM CIPEG) expresses concern about Northampton Borough Council’s selling of its Sekhemka statue at Christie’s London.
ICOM has joined ICOM CIPEG’s statement and supports the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities’ call to “stop the sale on the grounds that it goes against the Council’s ethics.”
In a stement the ICOM said: “This 4,500-year-old Egyptian painted limestone statue depicts Sekhemka, the Pharoah’s inspector of scribes.
“The sculpture was “originally acquired by the 2nd Marquess of Northampton during his travels in Egypt in 1849-50 and was given to the “Northampton Museum either by the 3rd or 4th Marquess of Northampton prior to 1880”, according to a Christie’s press release.
“ICOM CIPEG is also concerned that the sale of the statue, estimated between 5 and 7.5 million euros, according to the same press release, may result in an increase of illicit excavation and trafficking of antiquities in Egypt, an area already exposed to such risks.
“The fight against illicit trafficking in cultural goods is one of ICOM’s priorities and one of its most recent initiatives is the ICOM’s International Observatory on Illicit Traffic in Cultural Goods.”