Egypt is suing an auction house over a King Tut statue.
The authentic, 3,000-year-old bust was auctioned for more than $5.9 million at Christie’s auction house in London. But Egyptian authorities claim the statue was stolen from Egypt and therefore shouldn’t be sold at an auction.
Egypt’s National Committee for Antiquities Repatriation hired a British law firm to sue Christie’s for failure to prove ownership. They have also asked international police to help track down the statue.
“They never tell us about the origin, about how they bought it from Egypt…They have no evidence of that but we do think that this is part of our heritage,” former Egyptian Antiquities Minister Zahi Hawass sold CBS.
The Egyptian embassy in London said it will also participate in ending “the illicit trafficking in Egypt’s cultural heritage.”
According to Christie’s, the brown quartzite statue belonged to a German dealer in the 1980s and before that, it was owned by an Austrian dealer.
“Through this research, we are confident that the legal status of the piece and the title of ownership is clear,” Laetitia Delaloye told Reuters.
Christies has not named the new owner of the statue.
“I think they should be embarrassed, I think they should be ashamed,” Hawass stated. “I am angry, and you have to be angry. The whole world has to be angry, because there is no ethics here.”