Egyptian Sekhemka statue sells for nearly £16m

  • 11 July 2014
Sekhemka statue Image copyright christies
Image caption Northampton Borough Council sold the statue to help fund a museum extension

A 4,000-year-old Egyptian statue has sold for £15.76m at an auction in London.

Northampton Borough Council decided to sell the Sekhemka limestone statue to help fund a multi-million pound extension to Northampton Museum and Art Gallery.

The decision to sell the stature has angered some people including the Egyptian ambassador to Britain who said the council should have handed the statue back if it did not want it.

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Protesters gathered outside Christie's before the sale said they wanted the statue to be returned to Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities.

However, the leader of the council David Mackintosh told the BBC, "It's been in our ownership for over 100 years and it's never really been the centrepiece of our collection."

"We want to expand our museum and to do that we need to raise the money."