Northampton council backs £2m Egyptian statue sale

Statue of Sekhemka The limestone figure stands at 76cm (30in) high

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Plans to sell an Egyptian statue, discovered to be worth £2m during an insurance inspection at Northampton Museum, have been backed by a council.

Tory-run Northampton Borough Council's cabinet made the decision because the 2400 BC statue was not a "key part" of the town's history.

But the sale was opposed by the Friends of Northampton Museums.

Graphic novelist and Northampton resident Alan Moore addressed a protest at the plans before the meeting.

The cabinet agreed to sell the statue, called Sekhemka, subject to the expected sale price being achieved.

The council has said it wanted to use the money to improve the historic Delapre Abbey.

The Labour group has called for the decision on the sale to go to a scrutiny committee.

It is thought the statue was acquired by Spencer Compton, the second Marquis of Northampton, during a trip to Egypt in 1850 and presented to the museum by his son 20 years later.

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