Thursday, July 10, 2014

Selling the Silver

Sekhemka  30 inches tall

A scandal has erupted in the world of antiques, Northampton Museum/Council is selling a priceless Egyptian statue of Sekhemka, well it does have a price, four to six million pounds is hoped to be raised at Christies today.
For a start, museums do not sell their collections, they are not allowed to, the point of a museum is to collect and store our past so that we  as the public can continue to enjoy them, museums are on the whole public spaces, the British Museum being a fine example of one of the greatest collections in this country.
The monies from the sale are to go to upgrading the museum building - apparently. There is approximately a 40/60 percent split between the museum and Lord Northampton, who has also appeared on the scene.  It was an ancestor of this present lord who 'gifted' the statue to the museum (a gift is normally given gratis free) but the present lord has managed to find a paper giving him some rights to the statue, though I may add, sorry for being scurrilous, but he has quite a few million in the bank anyway. 
There is a scandal lurking behind this story, a conservative led council, looked around to what assets could be sold off has resorted to pillaging the museum! and there are some who are not happy about it!
A video by Archeosoup outlines the whole sorry story.

Edit; It sold  this evening at Christies for....  £15,762,500.  

The figure reflects the buyer/seller/auction fees, in the auction we see it selling for £14,000,000, as the excellent photos of Mike Pitts show.

Well the story continues as Andy Brockham in Heritage Daily gathers together the facts....

13th July 2014 update by Mike Pitts.  The best analysis so far.


  1. Let's hope this isn't going to be the tip of the iceberg, but HOW like Councils to do something so unethical, grasping and downright greedy. Perhaps the Elgin Marbles will be put up for ransom next?

  2. No Jennie, BM has a charter forbidding it to sell anything, or so I am told by a higher authority ;)
    But the 'sell off' of anything the developers and speculators can lay their hands on, will continue to happen I suspect, and that will of course include our public building places such as libraries, museums and playing fields...

  3. Sadly, Thelma, these public bodies often find a way round the rules.

  4. Pessimistic creature Pat, we have to fight them ;) the sale is on this evening.....