A 3,000-year-old stone sculpture of the famed boy pharaoh Tutankhamun was sold. (Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Christie’s goes ahead with contested King Tut statue auction

LONDON — Christie’s has gone forward with the auction of a 3,000-year-old stone sculpture of the famed boy pharaoh Tutankhamun despite protests from the Egyptian government.

The brown quartzite head depicting King Tut sold for more than 4.7 million pounds ($5.9 million) Thursday evening.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry had demanded that the auction house provide documents proving the statue’s ownership and said Egypt holds rights to the piece based on its current and previous laws.

But Christie’s defended the sale process. The auction house says it carried out “extensive due diligence” to verify the provenance of the statue and had “gone beyond what is required to assure legal title.”

The King Tut represented in art and artifacts is one of the most prominent symbols of ancient Egypt’s glory.

By The Associated Press

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