Egypt Demands Christie’s Halt Auction of King Tut Statue

A visitor walks by a wooden guardian statue of the Ka of the king wearing the Names Headcloth displayed as part of 'Tutankhamun, the treasure of the Pharaoh', an exhibition in partnership with the Grand Egyptian Museum at the Grande Halle of La Villette in Paris, France, Thursday, March 21, …
P Photo/Francois Mori

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt is trying to halt an auction of a 3,000-year-old stone sculpture of the famed boy pharaoh Tutankhamun at Christie’s in London.

The Foreign Ministry issued a statement late on Monday saying Egypt demands the auction house provide documents proving the artifact’s ownership. It says Egypt has also reached out to British authorities and the U.N. culture and education agency to stop the sale.

Christie’s didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The statue — a brown quartzite head depicting King Tut — is scheduled to be auctioned off in July and could generate more than $5 million.

King Tut ruled Egypt from 1332 to 1323 B.C. His tomb was discovered in 1922 by Howard Carter in Luxor.

Egypt is trying to bring home antiquities it considers state property.

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