Saturday, April 19, 2014
A Slap on the Wrist
Last years discovery of six objects of ancient origin believed smuggled out of Egypt has met with an anti-climatic ending. The pieces were discovered when a Briton, Neil Kingsbury took the pieces to Christie's auction house to sell them giving an explanation that they belonged to an uncle who brought the pieces to England after WWII.
It was then noticed that one of the pieces was a red granite fragment of a Nubian prisoner from a statue of a seated kings throne. A curator at the British museum, Marcel Maree however spotted the piece and recognized it from having been discovered at the mortuary temple of Amenhotep III at Thebes.
A clear case of theft from that archaeological site and of smuggling antiquities out of Egypt but more than this a collection of some importance. Mr. Kingsbury was arrested and charged and after a nine month trial has been convicted for his part in the theft and smuggling and because of his co operation was given a lenient sentence of L550 in fines.
Somehow the operation appears to be worth the risk, especially had it not been for that piece of granite the pieces would likely have brought in many thousands of pounds. A very lucky man for the ending would have been very different and likely very unpleasant for Mr. Kingsbury had he been caught with the material in Egypt!
Fragments from Christie's