Egypt asks UK to halt auction of Tutankhamun sculpture

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In this file photograph taken on March 21, 2019, a sculpture depicting Tutankhamun is displayed during the exhibition 'Tutankhamun,Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh' at La Villette in Paris. (AFP)
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In this file photograph taken on March 21, 2019, statuettes are displayed during the exhibition 'Tutankhamun,Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh' at La Villette in Paris. (AFP)
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In this file photograph taken on March 21, 2019, a statuette of Tutankhamun is displayed during the exhibition 'Tutankhamun,Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh' at La Villette in Paris. (AFP)
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In this file photograph taken on March 21, 2019, a sculpture of ancient Egyptian deity Amun is displayed during the exhibition 'Tutankhamun,Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh' at La Villette in Paris. (AFP)
Updated 11 June 2019
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Egypt asks UK to halt auction of Tutankhamun sculpture

  • The statement said the antiquities ministry had requested the UN cultural agency UNESCO stop the sales

CAIRO: The Egyptian embassy in London requested that Britain prevent the planned sale by Christie’s of an ancient sculpture representing King Tutankhamun’s head and return it to Egypt, Cairo said.
“The Egyptian embassy in London requested the British foreign affairs ministry and the auction hall to stop the sale,” Egypt’s foreign ministry said.
Christie’s has announced that the brown quartzite head of the pharaoh — measuring 28.5 centimeters high and more than 3,000 years old — would take place on July 4.
It said it expected the sale, from the Resandro Collection — one of the world’s “most renowned private collections of Egyptian art” — to fetch more than four million pounds (4.5 million euros, $5.1 million).
The foreign ministry also requested the sale of all Egyptian items planned by Christie’s during auctions on July 3 and July 4 be stopped, stressing the importance of securing valid ownership certificates before the sale of these items.
The statement also said the antiquities ministry had requested the UN cultural agency UNESCO stop the sales.


Jeddah's Kanz Al-Balad, Al-Ozwa Street Performance enthrall visitors

Updated 16 June 2019
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Jeddah's Kanz Al-Balad, Al-Ozwa Street Performance enthrall visitors

  • Kanz Al-Balad takes visitors on a historical journey through Jeddah’s Al-Balad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Al-Ozwa Street Performance is an interactive play about a young man who is preparing for his engagement ceremony

JEDDAH: The 40-day Jeddah Season festival is currently underway, with the launch of a schedule of international shows and plays being presented for the first time in Saudi Arabia.

The festival, which began on June 8 and runs until July 18, forms part of a major drive to boost tourism in the Kingdom.

Most of the festival’s events are taking place at King Abdullah Sports City, Jeddah’s historical area, Al-Hamra Corniche and the Jeddah Waterfront.

Among the events is the Kanz Al-Balad scavenger hunt for families and children, with 41 shows lined up for the duration of the festival. 

Kanz Al-Balad is organized daily at Bab Jadeed from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., and is aimed at helping participants learn more about Jeddah, interact with businesses, and improve their creativity and problem-solving skills.

Participants are split into teams, and are tasked with finding hidden objects or places with the help of clues.

Kanz Al-Balad takes visitors on a historical journey through Jeddah’s Al-Balad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

For comedy and history lovers, Al-Ozwa Street Performance is a must. There are four 45-minute shows daily until the end of the festival.

The interactive play, set 100 years ago, is about a young man named Omar who is preparing for his engagement ceremony, and encounters a dilemma unrelated to his engagement.

He needs the audience’s help to get him out of the trouble he is in, and to have a problem-free engagement ceremony. Show timings are 6:15 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 8:45 p.m. and 10 p. m.

Raed Abuzinada, general supervisor of Jeddah Season, said the festival is part of a national initiative to promote the tourism sector, which is a major contributor to the Saudi economy.

Visitors buying tickets online for any of the festival’s events can secure an e-tourism visa at the same time, he added. The visa will be issued within three minutes, he said. Details are at www.sharek.com.sa.