Northampton Museum has lost its accreditation with Arts Council England because of the sale of an ancient Egyptian statue.
The Sekhemka statue fetched more than £15 million at auction in July.
The Borough Council made the sale to fund an extension to the museum but the Egyptian Embassy was critical of the sale.
The museum will not be able to participate in the Accreditation scheme until at least August 2019.
“It is always hugely regrettable when we have to exclude a museum from the Accreditation Scheme. However, it is equally important that we are robust in upholding the standards and principles which underpin the Scheme and are shared by the vast majority of museums. I am confident that the museums sector and wider community will share our dismay at the way this sale has been conducted and support the decision to remove Northampton Museums Service from the Scheme. It is of great importance that the public retain their trust in museums to look after the collections held in their name. There is a very real risk that this trust, and particularly that of potential donors and funders, will be seriously undermined if disposals from public collections are seen to be driven by financial considerations and in breach of our professional standards and ethical code.”
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