The Northampton museum that caused uproar for selling off a 4,000 year old Ancient Egyptian relic has been officially denounced by the UK Arts Council.
The Northampton Borough Council in England has been officially stripped of its Art Council accreditation after the controversial and widely maligned sale of the 4,000 year old ancient Egyptian Sekhemka limestone statue. The council sold the thought to be priceless artifact for around £16 million through world-famous auction house Christie’s of London. The sale went through despite widespread outrage, including multiple petitions and the protests of the Egyptian ambassador Ashraf Elkholy. Elkholy called the sale "an abuse to the Egyptian archaeology."
Due to losing their accreditation, the council will now be ineligible to receive a variety of grants and funding from the Arts Council. Arts council spokesperson Scott Furlong said:"It is always hugely regrettable when we have to exclude a museum from the Accreditation Scheme. However, it is equally important that we are robust in upholding the standards and principles which underpin the scheme and are shared by the vast majority of museums." Northampton Borough Council will be unable to re-apply for accreditation for five years. Northampton Borough Council leader David Mackintosh called the loss of accreditation “disappointing” and “puzzling” and they are apparently considering appealing the decision.