Egyptologist Zahi Hawass said that the selling of the bust of Tutankhamun is a dark chapter in the history of Christie’s auction house as the head represents the civilization of the entire world. He asserted that the original mummy head of Tutankhamun still rests in its tomb along with another 5,398 artifacts discovered by the British archaeologist Howard Carter.
Hawass clarified that the head offered for sale in Christie’s auction house in London embodied the major ancient Egyptian deity Amun Ra.
Hawass formerly said that there were many statues and busts belonging to King Tutankhamun, including busts shaped like the god Amun with the face of Tutankhamun, granite busts in the Metropolitan, and other pieces that reside in the Louvre Abu Dhabi.
He explained that this bust may have come from the Monto Temple, north of Karnak, or the Temple of Mut, south of Karnak, or maybe even from inside the Temple of Amun in Heliopolis. All studies so far indicate that the bust came from Karnak Temple after 1970.
Hawas said that the Minister of Antiquities Khalid Anani asked the prosecutor-general Nabil Sadek to form a committee to investigate the case.
Hawas also said that Christie’s auction house has released the identity of the head’s owner, who is dead. His family denied their recognition of the head.
He continued that Egypt would display the head in exhibitions on Tutankhamun in France, England and Egypt if the house delivers the head to Egypt.
The head has been exhibited in two exhibitions in Europe, the last of which was Wildung’s at the Egyptian Museum of Berlin. The bust was published scientifically in 1986.