In the middle of the Egyptian protest, the bust of King Tut sells for $ 6 million
LONDON: A 3,000-year-old quartzite from the Egyptian Boy King It was auctioned for USD 6 million on Thursday in London despite a fierce protest from Cairo.
Christie's The auction house sold the relic of 28.5 centimeters (11 inches) for USD 5,970,000 in one of its most controversial auctions in years.
No information was revealed about the buyer.
The famous pharaoh's finely-chiselled face - its calm eyes and puffed lips emoting to sense of eternal peace - came from the private Collection of ancient art that Christie's last parcelled off for Pounds 3 million in 2016.
But the angry Egyptian officials wanted Thursday's sale to stop and the treasure to return.
About a dozen protesters waved Egyptian flags and posted signs saying they stopped trading smuggled antiquities outside the London sales room of the British auction house.
This should not be stored at home. It should be in a museum, said Egyptian national Magda Sakr to AFP. Is history. He is one of our most famous kings, said the 50-year-old.
Egypt's antiquities ministry said it would hold a special meeting early next week to discuss its next steps in the confrontation.
The Egyptian government will take all necessary measures to recover Egyptian antiquities that left Egypt illegally, it said in a statement.
Former Egyptian antiquities minister Zahi Hawass told AFP by telephone from Cairo that the piece appeared to have been stolen in the 1970s from the Karnak temple complex north of Luxor.
We believe he left Egypt after 1970 because at that time other artifacts were stolen from the Karnak Temple, Hawass said.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Egypt had asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the United Kingdom and the UN cultural agency UNSECO to intervene and stop the sale.
But such interventions are rare and take place only when there is clear evidence of the legitimate acquisition of the item by the seller in dispute.
Christie's argued that Egypt had never before expressed the same level of concern about an item whose existence has been well known and exhibited publicly for many years.
The object is not, and has not been, the subject of an investigation, Christie said in a statement to AFP.
The auction house has published a chronology of how the relic changed hands among European art dealers over the past 50 years.
Its oldest attribution of 1973-74 places it in the collection of Prince Wilhelm de Thurn and Taxi in modern Germany.
The accuracy of this account was challenged by a report from the Live Science news site last month, suggesting that Wilhelm was never the owner of the piece.
Wilhelm was not a person very interested in art, her niece Daria told the news site.
It is believed that Gesture of disapproval ankamón became pharaoh at the age of nine years and died about 10 years later.
His government probably would have passed without warning if it were not for the discovery in 1922 by the British Howard Carter of his almost intact tomb.
The luxurious find rekindled interest and set the stage for later battles over the ownership of cultural masterpieces unearthed in colonial times.
Ankamón disapproval gesture was commonly known as King Disapproval gesture and it became the subject of popular songs and movies.
International conventions and the guidance of the British government itself restrict the sale of works that were known to have been stolen or unearthed illegally.
The British Museum has been fighting for decades with Greece for its extraordinary room full of friezes and marble sculptures of the Parthenon.
Egypt's campaign to recover lost art gained momentum after several works disappeared during the looting that accompanied the fall of former President Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
Cairo has managed to recover hundreds of stolen and looted artifacts by working with auction houses and international cultural groups.
But it was never able to provide evidence for the Disapproval gesture ankhamun bust being illegally obtained.
Christie's told AFP that it would not sell any work where there is no clear title of ownership.