Saturday, 22 August 2015
Details about Dr Asaad can be found here: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/18/isis-beheads-archaeologist-syria
Friday, 24 July 2015
One of the principle reason for the international opposition to the sale was the increasing evidence that such sales benefit no-one except the international auction houses who see their profits increased and international terrorists and criminal gangs who fund their activities by trafficking and selling art and archaeological artefacts like the statue of Sekhemka. If auction house prices rise, so do the profits of the criminal and terrorist traffickers and forgers  .
We are also asking you to make clear that you deplore the sale of publicly held museum collections for profit in a way which can only drive up the prices and the rewards for such unethical behaviour.
The only thing preventing such an intervention is the will of the British Government to be seen to do the right thing, while your intervention will not just preserve a beautiful and uniquely evocative example of Egypt's ancient art and culture for the public and visitors to Britain to enjoy. It will send a message that Britain cares about the cultural jewels it has in its care and will not in future allow them to be exploited for short term gain in a way which only encourages criminals, traffickers and terrorists to set out to loot and sell more.
Tuesday, 21 April 2015
re the TEMPORARY EXPORT BAN FOR THE SEKHEMKA STATUE
a) We will NOT be part of ANY fundraising attempt to buy the statue from the present owner.
- What was the deal whereby Lord Northampton agreed not to challenge the sale and agreed to relinquish his legal right to the statue?
- Why, when NBC told Christie’s that they owned Sekhemka, signed a sales agreement stating this and paid all the sales fees and premiums, was the Marquis of Northampton then paid over £6 million of public money?[vii]
- Was the £50,000+ which NBC spent on legal expenses in an apparently abortive attempt to show it owned Sekhemka a misuse of public money which in the end only benefited a private individual to the tune of over £6 million?
Monday, 30 March 2015
The BBC are reporting that "Mr Vaizey made the decision following a recommendation by the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest (RCEWA), which is administered by Arts Council England."
The BBC also quote the RCEWA who are reported to have said that the statue was of "outstanding aesthetic importance" and was significant in the study of "the development of private statuary and funerary religion in Egypt and the history of human self-representation".
The Save Sekhemka Action Group are delighted that the Government has imposed a temporary export ban on the Statue of Sekhemka and we fervently hope that this will be upheld as a permanent ban on 29 July and Sekhemka, an internationally important work of Egyptian Art, will find a home in a public museum where it belongs.
The decision of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest (RCEWA) to recommend the ban, not only vindicates our position as to the importance of Sekhemka as a work of art, but also provides much needed clarity as, until now today's announcement, we were not even able to establish that the buyer was from outside the UK. This was because while the statue is of international importance, was owned by the people of Northampton and was sold by a publicly accountable body, their Council, the process was carried out behind the cloak of privacy and commercial confidentiality.
If the statue of Sekhemka is to be lost to the people of Northampton who enjoyed it for over one hundred years we would like to see Sekhemka retained in the UK. The only problem is WHERE and HOW it could be retained and displayed since the sale itself was unethical and there is evidence it was also of doubtful legality. As a consequence none of the UK's major museums wished to acquire it unless it was GIVEN outright - a public body cannot buy something owned by another public body, it is unethical and a misapplication of public money.
We also understand that the Art Fund was outraged when we told them about the proposed sale and declared they would not then help raise funds for a purchase.
Northampton Borough Council committed an act of great folly selling the statue of Sekhmeka. Even greater was the folly when NBC agreed to buy off Lord Northampton to the tune of £7m thus halving their profit, rather than submitting to a transparent legal clarification of the statue's actual ownership. Now the consequences of this folly are even more apparent: Northampton museums have lost their Accreditation and with that all access to outside funding resulting in a loss of about a third of their income ( in our estimation) - This is not a good position from which to contemplate an extension to the Central Museum.
The Action Group will actively work to uphold the export ban through our many contacts and explore ways of how the statue can be kept in the UK.
Sunday, 2 November 2014
The consequences of the unethical actions of Northampton Borough Council are now being made clear as this week we learn that a £250k application for money to support our shoe collection has been refused.
The damage is already done - we tried to tell NBC, they wouldn't listen.
The Arts Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund have rules and ethics requirements clearly laid out for good reason.
More here: http://www.theartnewspaper.com/articles/English-council-pays-price-for-controversial-sale-of-museum-object/36090
Thursday, 30 October 2014
Wednesday, 1 October 2014
Northampton Museums Service has been barred from Museum Association membership for at least five years.
David Fleming, chairman of the MA's Ethics Committee, said: “We do appreciate the huge financial pressure that many local authority museums are under at the present time, but the MA's Code of Ethics provides for such a sale only as a last resort after other sources of funding have been thoroughly explored. At a time when public finances are pressured it is all the more important that museum authorities behave in an ethical fashion in order to safeguard the long-term public interest. Museums have a duty to hold their collections in trust for society. They should not treat their collections as assets to be monetised for short-term gain."
We wholeheartedly agree and have been saying this for many months. Sadly the worst has happened for Northampton's museums.
You can read the decision in full here: