The Egyptian government has announced plans to sue the London auction house Christie’s, after it sold a 3,000-year old statue of Pharaoh Tutankhamun.

Last month, the Egyptian government fought to cancel the sale of the statue, demanding that the auction house prove ownership of the relic first; it never did. Despite the government’s efforts, the statue was sold for 6 million dollars to a secret buyer last week, as the auction house claimed no wrongdoing in the obtaining or selling of the artifact.

Former antiquities minister Zahi Hawass told the AFP news agency on Sunday that the piece appears to have been stolen from the Karnak Temple complex of Egypt’s great monuments in the 1970s.

“The owners have given false information,” he said. “They have not shown any legal papers to prove its ownership.”

According to Al Jazeera, Egypt has asked Interpol—the world’s largest international police organization—to help find the statute.


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