The Controversial Sekhemka: Egyptian Statue Stirs Debate

The export ban placed by the UK government on an ancient Egyptian statue, which has been riled in controversy following its sale to an anonymous buyer last year, expired on Friday.
Activists, along with the Egyptian government, have been pushing for months to extend the ban on the Sekhemka statue out of fear that if it leaves the UK, it may never be put on public display again as a private collector purchased the piece.
“The museum is not entitled to sell this item and we are working with an Egyptian NGO [Save Sekhmka Action Group] in its effort to return this treasure to Egypt,” Spokesman for the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Badr Abdel Aty told Al Arabiya News. 

“We are doing our utmost efforts to retrieve it because it is part of Egyptian legacy and history,” said Abdel Aty, who has been involved in efforts to retrieve the statue. 

The Egyptian government even tried to raise $23 million to buy the statue, which in turn could have extended the export ban.
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