Egypt will sue the auction house Christie’s for the sale of a brown quartzite head depicting the Pharoah Tutankhamen as the Egyptian god Amen. The 3,000-year-old relic sold at Christie’s London last week for £4,746,250 (~$5.9 million). In another escalation on Monday, July 8, The Egyptian National Committee for Antiquities Repatriation (NCAR) called on Interpol to investigate the provenance of the bust, claiming it was stolen from an archeological site in Luxor. Christie’s denies any wrongdoing in the sale.
The 28.5cm head was part of a statue of the ancient god Amen carved with the facial features of the young pharaoh Tutankhamun, who became king at age 9 in 1333 BCE and ruled Egypt through 1323 BCE. The bust is sold from the Resandro Collection, which Christie’s describes as “one of the world’s most renowned private collections of Egyptian art.”