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10:41, 05 July 2019

Tutankhamun statue sells for almost $6M despite Egyptian outcry

AKIPRESS.COM - An Egyptian statue resembling the pharaoh Tutankhamun has been sold for £4.7 million ($5.97 million) at a London auction, despite protests from Cairo that the relic may have been stolen, CNN reports. 

The 11-inch statue with features reminiscent of the Pharaoh Tutankhamun was sold by Christie's, the auction house said on Thursday. The identity of the buyer was not revealed.

The sale of the artifact has been highly controversial, with Egyptian authorities demanding the auction be canceled and calling for the statute's repatriation.

In June, Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities appealed to Christie's and UNESCO to halt the sale, and asked to see documents proving the item's provenance, according to a statement from the ministry.

Officials from the Egyptian embassy in London asked the UK Foreign Office to return the statue.

"Once again, we will not be negligent or allow anybody to sell any Egyptian artifact whatsoever," a statement from Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities released in June read.

On Wednesday, the embassy said in a statement that it "regrets" the decision to go ahead with the auction.

According to Christie's, the statue is "a remarkable representation of the young king" Tutankhamun.

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