Monday, April 6, 2009
Key to Kaaba May Be Fake
Interesting - even the experts at Sotheby's can be fooled... From The New York Times Sotheby’s Revokes Sale of an Islamic Artifact Compiled by DAVE ITZKOFF Published: April 3, 2009 Sotheby’s has canceled the sale of an artifact believed to be a valuable Muslim relic after questions were raised about its authenticity, Reuters reported. In April 2008 Sotheby’s sold at auction in London a key believed to have been made in the 12th century and used to unlock the holy Kaaba, a sacred Islamic shrine in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. At that time the item sold for nearly $13.5 million, more than 18 times its presale estimate. The Art Newspaper said that the key was brought to the British Museum about two weeks after the sale, where experts raised “serious doubts” about its age. In a statement, Sotheby’s said, “In light of the divergence of academic views, Sotheby’s and the consignor decided to cancel the sale in May 2008, pending further research and scientific analysis,” according to Reuters. The key has been returned to its original owner.