Statuette of Tutankhamun’s sister found

Posted on: December 15, 2013 by

The Egyptian Antiquities Ministry has announced that a priceless statuette of the sister of the Pharaoh Tutankhamun has been found in Cairo, though few details as to precisely how it came to be recovered have been released.  The statuette, which was the highlight of the museum in the city of Mallawi (near the archaeological remains of the new capital established by Tutankhamun’s father Akhenaten in the fourteenth century BC) was broken into three pieces but it seems that it can be restored as the breaks appear to be along the lines of previous restoration work.  The discovery is of huge significance both symbolically and substantively.  More than 1,000 items went missing during mass looting of the museum in central Egypt and it is thought that professional thieves took advantage of the chaos caused by the riots in August to target the statuette which was the prize exhibit of the Mallawi museum and had been due to be transferred to a new museum being built nearby to honour the family of Akhenaten (one of Egypt’s most celebrated pharaohs and the father of Tutankhamun).  Following the looting, Egypt and UNESCO put out an alert through Interpol and to international museums and dealers, and of the 1,089 items identified as missing, around 800 have now been recovered. The museum inventory is available online.