The controversial sale of a 4,500-year-old Egyptian statue, set to proceed at a Christie’s auction next week which could raise up to £6 million, will put Northampton Museum and Art Gallery’s future loans and fundraising prospects in jeopardy, the Museums Association has warned.
Under the terms of the Arts Council’s Accreditation status, which allows the museum to exchange items with fellow venues and apply for grants and funding, members are banned from selling items unless they have no other options.
Speaking ahead of a public consultation in late 2012, Councillor Brandon Eldred, of Northampton Borough Council, said leaders would use the proceeds from Sekhemka to bring “the very best of our heritage” to a wider audience. Read more.
A Limoges statue of the Virgin Mary dating from the 13th century has been found during renovations of a small church in the eastern Jutland town of Søby.
Archaeologist Hans Mikkelsen from the National Museum and a local craftsman were sifting through the soil under the church floor when they made the find. The icon would have probably sat atop a crucifix that was used in a church processional. There have been Limoges figures found in Denmark before, but likenesses of the Virgin Mary are quite rare and this is the first of the figures found in Denmark that has a halo.
Limoges figurines were produced in the French town of the same name from 1200 to 1225. Read more.
The Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena announced that it will return an ancient statue acquired nearly 40 years ago to Cambodia, after talks with government officials seeking the repatriation of antiquities it believes were looted from ancient sites.
Museum officials said Tuesday that the 10th century sandstone statue known variously as the “Temple Wrestler” or “Bhima” will be returned to Cambodia as “a gift.”
Standing a little more than 5 feet in height, the statue has been on regular display since the museum purchased it in 1976.
The ancient “Bhima” is the twin of another contested statue that is also being returned to Cambodia. Read more.
A statue, believed to be the ancient Greek goddess Demeter, has been unearthed at an illegal excavation in Simav, western Turkey. The statue, weighing in at 610kg and standing 2.8 meters tall, was discovered by two Turks, Ramazan C. And Ismail G, 26 and 62 years old respectively, who are alleged to have been conducting illegal excavations in the wider area where the statue was found. The two men were taken into custody by the Turkish police and sent to court.
The head of the statue and the altar, missing during the raid, were later found in a house in the city centre.
In Greek mythology, Demeter, one of Zeus’ sisters, so the story goes, was the goddess of agriculture, nature, abundance and seasons, and mother of Persephone, wife of Hades. (source)
Egypt has announced that a team of European archaeologists have found a nearly 2-meter- (6 ½-foot-) tall alabaster statue of a pharaonic princess, dating from approximately 1350 B.C., outside the southern city of Luxor.
Minister of Antiquities Mohammed Ibrahim said in in a statement Friday that the statue was once part of a larger statue that was nearly 14 meters (456 feet) tall and guarded the entrance to a temple.
Ibrahim says the statue is of Iset, the daughter of Amenhotep III, and is the first found that depicts her without her siblings. Archaeologists uncovered the statue next to the funerary temple of Amenhotep III, who was worshipped as a deity after his death. (source)
Federal investigators on Friday plan to seize an ancient Roman sculpture from a Queens warehouse on behalf of Italian officials who say there is evidence the marble statue of a reclining, half-clad woman valued at $4 million was looted from Italy decades ago.
United States officials said that they began tracking the life-size, 1,700-pound statue last year after they were alerted that it had been exhibited for sale at the Park Avenue Armory in Manhattan by Phoenix Ancient Art.
In a complaint filed on Thursday in federal court in Brooklyn, the authorities said the sculpture had served as the lid on an 1,800-year-old sarcophagus of a Roman noblewoman, and was probably looted in the 1970s or early 1980s. Officials said they did not know when the statue entered the United States or where precisely it came from in Italy. Read more.
Lost for centuries, a rare bronze statue of the Greek god Apollo has mysteriously resurfaced in the Gaza Strip, only to be seized by police and vanish almost immediately from view.
Word of the remarkable find has caught the imagination of the world of archaeology, but the police cannot say when the life-sized bronze might re-emerge or where it might be put on display.
A local fisherman says he scooped the 500kg (1,100lb) god from the seabed last August, and carried it home on a donkey cart, unaware of the significance of his catch.
Others soon guessed at its importance, and the statue briefly appeared on eBay with a $500,000 (£300,000) price tag - well below its true value. Read more.
The Egyptian-Spanish archaeological mission unearthed on Thursday a large granite head of a statue of an unidentified New Kingdom king during routine excavation at King Thutmose III’s funerary temple on Luxor’s west bank.
Mohamed Abdel-Maqsoud, head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Section at the Ministry of State for Antiquities (MSA), explained that the head is 29.6cm high, 24.3cm wide and 26.9cm deep. The head depicts a round face of a royal figure, not identified yet, wearing a wig, with traces of a broken nose, and two long ears that each reach 8cm. The eyes, he continued, have traces of kohl, with thick eyebrows. Read more.