Friday, January 30, 2009

Duped council hopes to display fake statue

The Independent, UK (Jeananne Craig)

A council which was duped into paying £440,000 for a fake Egyptian statuette said today that it hopes to put the sculpture on display in a local museum.

Bolton Council bought the 20-inch Princess Amarna in 2003 after it was authenticated as 3,300 years old by the Egyptology department at Christie's and the British Museum.

In fact, the figurine of the granddaughter of King Tutankhamun was crafted by master forger Shaun Greenhalgh, 48, in his garden shed in just three weeks.

The Princess Amarna is now in the hands of London's Metropolitan Police, but Bolton Council plans to borrow the statue for a special display in Bolton Museum's Egyptology section.

A council spokesman said: "The Amarna statue remains the property of the London Metropolitan Police as ordered by the judge, and therefore could never be housed at Bolton Museum permanently.

"However, we are currently looking into the possibility of the statue being temporarily returned to be put on special display."

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