Egypt Demands Christie's Halt Auction of King Tut Statue

Cairo has also reached out to British authorities and the UN to stop the sale, demanding auction house prove ownership of 3,000-year-old stone sculpture

File photo:  A picture distributed by Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities shows an ancient statue of  Tutankhamun, May 10, 2005.

Egypt is trying to halt an auction of a 3,000-year-old stone sculpture of the famed boy pharaoh Tutankhamun at Christie's in London.

The Foreign Ministry issued a statement late on Monday saying Egypt demands the auction house provide documents proving the artifact's ownership. It says Egypt has also reached out to British authorities and the UN culture and education agency to stop the sale.

Christie's didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The statue — a brown quartzite head depicting King Tut — is scheduled to be auctioned off in July and could generate more than $5 million.

King Tut ruled Egypt from 1332 to 1323 B.C. His tomb was discovered in 1922 by Howard Carter in Luxor.

Egypt is trying to bring home antiquities it considers state property.