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The famous burial mask of King Tutankhamun on display at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Egypt. Photo by Mark Fischer via Flickr.

Egypt to Sue London Auction House for Selling King Tut Statue Without 'Proving Ownership'

The rare statue was sold to a secret buyer for $6 million, and now the Egyptian government has enlisted international police to track it down.

The Egyptian government has announced its plans to sue the London auction house Christie's, after it went ahead with a sale of a 3,000-year old statue of Pharaoh Tutankhamun.

Last month, the Egyptian government pushed for the cancellation of the sale, demanding that the auction house prove ownership of the relic first. Despite its efforts, the statue was sold for 6 million dollars to a secret buyer last week, as the auction house claimed no wrongdoing in the obtaining or selling of the artifact.

According to Al Jazeera, Egyptian authorities have enlisted Interpol—the world's largest police organization—to track down the bust. Authorities also disclosed plans to hire a British law firm to file a civil suit against the auction house.

READ: Bringing African Artifacts Home


Egypt's Minister of Antiquities, Khaled al-Enany told the BBC, that the ministry would push for the restitution of 32 other cultural relics sold by Christie's, reports BBC Africa.

In June, the Egyptian embassy warned of its plans to involve interpol in an investigation if the bust, which it believed to be stolen, was to be sold "illegally."

"If it's proven that any piece has been illegally moved out of the country, we will take legal action with the Interpol," said an embassy spokesperson. "We will never allow anyone to sell any ancient Egyptian artifact."

Christie's Auction House, however, has maintained that the bust was acquired legally.

This is only Egypt's latest effort to gain back its cultural relics. At the start of the year, a cartouche of King Amenhotep I was returned to Egypt after it was tracked down online and stopped from going on auction in London.

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Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Thousands of Ethiopians Showed Up for the Oromo People's Irreecha Thanksgiving Festival

For the first time in 100 years, the festival was held in Addis Ababa.

The Irreecha thanksgiving festival is an annual celebration by Ethiopia's Oromo people, the largest ethnic group in the country. The celebration included a concert which took place this past Friday at the Meskel Square and was followed by a ceremony of blessings on the Saturday, the BBC reports. The festival has traditionally been held in Bishoftu which is just outside of the capital city. However, after the festival was held in Addis Ababa this year for the first time in 100 years, many have seen this as a recognition of Oromo culture by the country's authorities.

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Jan Hennop/Getty Images

The Netherlands Will Return an Eighteenth-Century Crown to Ethiopia

The priceless crown was found by a former refugee who hid it in his apartment for two decades.

An eighteenth-century Ethiopian crown has been in the possession of Sirak Asfaw, a former refugee and now Dutch citizen, for the past twenty years. The AFP reports that Asfaw discovered the stolen crown in a suitcase that had been left by one one of many fellow Ethiopian guests who passed through his apartment in Rotterdam, Netherlands. After Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was elected to power in April 2018 and parliament went on to appoint Sahle-Work Zewde as Ethiopia's first woman president in October of the same year, Asfaw was confident that the crown would not "disappear" again when it was returned home.

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Keith Roper/Flickr Creative Commons

Kais Saied is Set to Become Tunisia's Next President

While official results have not been published, the retired academic reportedly secured 76 percent of the votes according to the exit polls.

Last week, Tunisia held its legislative elections, according to reports by Aljazeera. The Ennahda Movement obtained 52 seats in the 217-member parliament while the Karoui's Heart of Tunisia party came second, with 38 seats. While the presidential elections were only scheduled to take place in November, they were pushed forward after the country's first democratically-elected president, Beji Caid Essebsi, passed away in July. Two independent candidates, media mogul Nabil Karoui and retired law professor Kais Saied, have been facing off in the presidential runoff. However, recent exit polls suggest that Saied secured between 72 and 77 percent of the vote.

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Illustration by Simone Martin-Newberry

A 15-Year-Old Nigerian Student Lends Her Voice to the Fight Against Boko Haram With Graphic Novel

Aisha Mustapha's graphic novel about her experiences under Boko Haram was published today for International Day of the Girl.

Aisha Mustapha, is a 15-year-old student from Nigeria, using her voice to tell her own story. The young writer recently penned a graphic novel about her experience fleeing Boko Haram, locating her family and trying to further her education. It's a heavy subject, obviously, but with her graphic novel, she offers a voice for young people directly affected by the crisis in Northern Nigeria.

The book was published today to mark the International Day of the Girl, a day established by the United Nations in 2011 to "highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face, while promoting girls' empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights."

Aisha's talent for storytelling has previously been highlighted in Assembly, a by-girls-for-girls publication by the Malala Fund that brought Aisha's graphic novel to life, premiering it today in conjunction with International Day of the GIrl. Tess Thomas, Assembly's editor, elaborated on the purpose of the publication saying, "We believe in the power of girls' voices to generate change. Our publication provides girls with a platform so their opinions and experiences can inform decisions about their futures."

Aisha's words were illustrated by artist Simone Martin-Newberry, who had this to say about the process of creating the visuals for the graphic novel: "I was very moved by Aisha's story, and really wanted to treat it sensitively and do it justice with my illustrations. My aim was to capture the real emotions and actions of the story, but also keep my artwork bright and colorful and full of pattern, to help reflect Aisha's amazing youthful spirit."

Check out some excerpts from the piece below and head here to read it in full.
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