MANCHESTER The Sun – An Egyptian relic has mysteriously started moving in a museum – prompting fears an ancient angry spirit could be fighting to get out.
The 4,000-year-old statue slowly spins round in a perfect circle, despite being safely locked in a glass case. The 10ins black figure, on display to the public for 80 years, was an offering to the Egyptian god Osiris – regarded as the god of the dead.
Only a few staff have access to the case at Manchester Museum. One of them, Egyptian artefacts curator Campbell Price, 29, was first to notice the statue had moved.
Dr Price said: “Most Egyptologists are not superstitious people. I wondered who had changed the object’s position without telling me. “But the next time I looked, it was facing in another direction – and a day later had yet another orientation. None of the other objects in the display had moved. It’s bizarre.”
He added: “The Ancient Egyptians believed that statuettes such as these could act as an alternative home for the spirits of the people they represented, should the body be damaged or destroyed. The Egyptians would be surprised, however, by a statue moving entirely of its own accord.”
Bemused staff installed a camera to take a picture of the 1800BC statue every minute for a week – the spooky time-lapsed film shows it turning through 360 degrees.
Possible explanations include subtle vibrations from visitors walking past the exhibit or traffic trundling by outside, but these do not explain why the statue has never moved before – or why it moves in an exact circle.
Dr Price added: “The statuette has been on a glass shelf in about the same place in the gallery for decades – and has never moved before. “It probably lay buried until it was found by an archaeologist or a local Egyptian before being sold and entering the art market.”
Legend has it there is a curse of the pharaohs dooming anyone looting relics from within a pyramid tomb.