Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Just 24 Hours to Go - Several things you can do

Dear Friends,

There are just twenty four hours left to prevent the "unethical sale" of the statue of Sekhemka at Christie's and the only way we can do that is to help the Egyptian Government's legal moves to prevent the sale of Sekhemka with a show of people power.

The Cabinet of Northampton Borough Council meets tonight to discuss the conservation of the Battlefield of Northampton.  They are only doing this because local people worked together to prevent Council Leader David Mackintosh driving through a plan against all advice to bulid on the site.  Now we need to show Cllr Mackintoish that he has another losing battle on his hands over the "unethical" sale of Sekhemka.

We are going to send this petition to every member of Northampton Council as well as Christies, the Marquis of Northampton and the Media but we need as many names on it as possible.  If you haven't already done so please ask everyone you know or who you can contact to sign and share the link on the Social Media.
  • Remember Councillor Mackintosh has not answered this key question-  if Northampton Borough Council really owns the statue, why are they giving the Marquis of Northampton 45% of the sale price-  that could be well over £2 million pounds?
  • And why are the Council paying this huge amount of money to the Marquis when they have already spent over £40,000  to facilitate the sale and are paying all the legal and auction costs?
What else can you do?

1.  E-mail the Egyptian Embassy in London and thank them for intervening to protect the culture we share.  Ask them to take out an injunction to stop the sale becaue the ownership of the statue is not clear.
2.  E-mail the Culture Minister, Sajid Javid, to say that this sale threatens his own policy of using charitable giving and donations to help supply Arts funding.  The famoous Graphic Novellist Alan Moore, who is from Northampton, has said that the Sekhemka sale is a "gross betrayal of trust"  which will make anyone thinking to donate to a museum think twice.
3.  E-mail the Foreign Office to say that the decision of Cllr Mackintosh to sell Sekhemka has provoked the Egyptian Government into taking legal action and is bringing Britain into disrepute all over the world as the story spreads.
4.  E-mail Councillor Mackintosh directly to ask him to halt the Sale before even more damage is done to his and Northampton's reputation.
5.  E-mail Christie's to tell them that by undertaking what the Museums Association, the Art Fund and Arts Council England all say is an unethical sale which should not take place, they are tarnishing their image all over the world and are in breach of their own mission statement about corporate responsibility which says "Christie’s strives to manage its people and practices responsibly, in order to leave a positive, enduring impact on our communities -- particularly in helping to preserve and promote the world’s collective cultural heritage. "

The sale of Sekhemka is unethical, unecessary and counter productive and no-one in politics or the museums world has defended it except Councillor Mackintosh.  The only person who will gain from the sale is the Marquis of Northampton, one of the richest men in Britain who will get over £2 million at no cost to himself.  Please take this last chance to help defend the culture we share.

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