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Despite Ownership Controversy, king Tut Sculpture sells for 6 Million USD

A 3,300-year-old sculpture of Tutankhamun’s head has been auctioned off at Christie’s for $6 Million, despite claims from the Egyptian government that the relic was stolen.

The 11-inch-tall bust, made from brown quartzite, has damage to the nose, ears, and chin, but is in otherwise excellent condition, according to Christie’s, a London-based auction house. The sculpture is a depiction of the ancient Egyptian god Amen, and fashioned to look like the pharaoh Tutankhamun. An unnamed collector purchased the stunning 3,300-year-old relic for £4,746,250 ($5,936,372) at an auction on July 4.

“This face is recognizable among a thousand Egyptian royal faces,” noted Laetitia Delaloye, London Head of Ancient Art & Antiquities, at the Christie’s website, pointing to the pharaoh’s almond-shaped eyes, high cheekbones, and prominent top lip. “We are honoured to present this head to auction for the first time in its history. It has been very well known on the market, and has been published and exhibited many times over the past 35 years,” she said.
Christie’s went ahead with the auction despite protests from Cairo and appeals to the British government by Egypt’s ambassador in London.

The north African country claims rightful ownership of the piece, saying it holds the rights under its laws, according to ABC News. Prior to the auction, the Egyptian foreign ministry demanded that Christie’s disclose documentation detailing the statue’s ownership.

“They never tell us about the origin, about how they bought it from Egypt, who has ownership of this piece,” said Zahi Hawass, the former Egyptian antiquities minister, as reported by CBS news. “They have no evidence of that but we do think that this is a part of our heritage.”

Indeed, the history of this relic is shrouded in mystery. Since the discovery of King Tut’s tomb in the 1920s, the bust has passed through several owners, finally landing in a private German collection in 1985. The relic has now moved on to yet another owner, despite claims from Egypt that the relic was stolen.

Christie’s disagreed, saying it carried out “extensive due diligence” to prove the ownership of the statue, and that it went “beyond what is required to assure legal title,” according to the Associated Press. A U.K. government official said “they expect all sales to go in accordance with the law and that this is a matter for Christie’s,” reported CBS.

This is not the first time Egypt has demanded the return of an artifact, nor is it likely to be the last. The Rosetta Stone kept at the British Museum, for example, is one such item. This latest incident is part of a growing trend, in which nations are demanding the return of ancient artifacts taken from their territory by foreign archaeologists and collectors.

Indeed, a strong case can be made that ancient relics, human remains, and other items of archaeological, historical, and cultural significance, if taken without consent, should be repatriated when a country asks for their return. Sadly, too many countries are finding it hard to shake their imperialistic habits.

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Disastrous Photo Of Bird Feeding A Cigarette Butt To Its Baby Is Proof We’ve Failed Wildlife

Photos of a black skimmer adult feeding a cigarette butt to its chick captured by Karen Mason at St Pete’s Beach in Pinellas County in Florida have sparked outrage over littering on beaches.

Humans have made living conditions hell for the wildlife. Plastic bags and wires choking and killing the sea life, polar bears being forced to enter into the city because of the melting of ice and lack of food, and multiple species being driven to the point of extinction – this is all our doing.

Plastic waste is a massive problem, but something else that has littered our beaches, is threatening the lives of sea and land creatures and is not being called out enough – it is cigarette butt.

Karen Mason is a volunteer for the National Audonon Society and a photographer. She captured this heartbreaking picture of a mama bird feeding her baby a cigarette butt and naturally, it made her furious.

When Karen was taking a stroll on St Pete’s Beach a few days ago, she happened to have her camera on her while bird stewarding (making sure that people on the beach were not bothering the wildlife). That’s when she saw a black skimmer feeding her baby something unusual. She clicked a few pictures of it.

Reportedly she said, “I knew it wasn’t a fish but couldn’t tell what it was until I got home and blew it up.” She was taken aback when she realized that the chick was being fed a cigarette butt, it would horrify anyone.”

Mason decided to share the anger-evoking images with many wildlife groups, and put them up on her Facebook page as well. The fact that cigarette butts littered on beaches are harmful, has now started to gain more attention.

A campaign by San Diego State University Graduate School of Public Health found out that a large percentage of the 5.5 trillion filter cigarettes are thrown somewhere in the environment every year. A reportalso found that cigarette butts, not plastic straws, are a bigger threat to our oceans.

We should not just be scared for the wildlife. Cigarette butts on beaches can be harmful for kids too who might pick them up. Reportedly Mason said that if it was not for the volunteers cleaning up Florida beeches, they would be completely full of trash.

Since the pictures were shared, they have caused outrage among netizens. The photos, now viral, have been flooded with comments. Here are some of the reactions:

A user wrote, “Sad. We must learn to treat our earth like the treasure it is!” Another said, “Absolutely disheartening.”

A third user commented, “This doesn’t just hurt our animals and environment, it can create forest fires as well. Very powerful picture message right here folks.”

Yet another wrote, “This is a preventable tragedy. Thanks for taking this photo and helping to spread awareness of this issue.”

According to a 2018 report from the Ocean Conservancy, cigarette butts topped the list of 10 trash items collected from beaches globally.

The least that you can do is to dispose your cigarette butts in the garbage. Humans have tested nature to its tensile strength and with the adverse effects climate change is having on our race, the nature seems to be in retaliation now. It is only when we do the bare minimum will we be able to save our wildlife and our selves.

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The Gravity Pillar At Belur, India.

This pillar located inside Chennakesava Temple of Belur. – this baseless, foundationless 42 foot pillar just stands on a stone platform, held there by gravity. It has been standing since the reign of King Sri Krishna Devaraya in 1414. The column is made out of granite and stands tall above the other temples.

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