Recently, some early details regarding the responses to Northampton Borough Council's consultation were made public. This action group have already released full details of their survey available on this site. NBC's results were published here: http://www.northampton-news-hp.co.uk/News/Council-looks-to-maximise-statue-sale-profit-20121207140000.htm
Councillor Brandon Eldred claims with elation in this article that a majority of 173 people favour selling Sekehmka and using the money for heritage projects, possibly the Cultural Quarter, and quotes again how far £2m will go. It seems that NBC and Cllr Eldred have no understanding of the difficulties in selling something to which one cannot claim legal title.
During our campaign we have often queried WHO has title to Sekhemka and now we have been told, as a result of a FoI request, that there have been legal discussions between Lord Northampton and his legal team and NBC’s legal team on the ownership issue. Lord Northampton has since told us that these discussions are now at a temporary halt while NBC takes Counsel’s advice. (Will the payment for this advice come out of the already meagre museum budget ?) So without proper legal title to the statue it is pointless to speculate on how to spend the eventual sale money.
Another reply to a FoI request has revealed that when NBC’s present insurance provider had the museum collections re-valued in 2010, including the high value of Sekhekma, they did NOT ask for extra display or security measures. Therefore the statue can and should go back on display for the benefit of the people of Northampton.
Citing security reasons is invalid since the ONLY people who have revealed the value of Sekhemka time and time again in press and local media are NBC staff or NBC Councillors.
The statue was placed in the care of the museums to benefit Northampton’s people, until legal title is established without doubt the Central Museum is where it should be – NOW.
Gunilla Loe, Chair, Save Sekhemka Action Group and Chair, FNMAG