Egypt asks Interpol to help recover statue

Egypt is seeking Interpol help to recover this 3,000-year-old stone sculpture of Tutankhamun.
Egypt is seeking Interpol help to recover this 3,000-year-old stone sculpture of Tutankhamun.

Egypt says it has asked Interpol to help track down a 3,000-year-old sculpture of the famed boy pharaoh Tutankhamun after Christie's auctioned it off last week despite Cairo's objections.

The Britain-based auction house sold the brown quartzite head depicting King Tut for more than 4.7 million pounds ($A8.5 million).

Egypt's National Committee for Antiquities Repatriation said it has hired a British law firm to file a lawsuit against Christie's, saying the auction house did not provide documents proving ownership.

Christie's has denied any wrongdoing, saying it carried out "extensive due diligence" to verify the provenance of the statue and had "gone beyond what is required to assure legal title."

The committee also criticised British authorities for not supporting its claim to the sculpture.

Australian Associated Press