Manchester's 'moving' Egyptian statue perplexes curators
Issued on: Modified:
One of these statuettes is facing the wrong direction... Screen capture from video below.
Curators at the Manchester Museum have released a time-lapse video showing a 4,000-year-old Egyptian statuette rotating in its glass case – apparently on its own.
Courtesy of Manchester Museum.
The 10-inch tall statue of a man named Neb-Senu, which was recovered from a mummy’s tomb, has been in the museum for eight decades. However, it had been on its best behaviour until a few weeks ago, when curator Campbell Price noticed it had turned around.
“I thought it was strange, because it is in a case and I am the only one who has a key,” Price told NDTV. After setting up a time-lapse video, he became convinced the statue was moving without anyone’s help. His theory? “In Ancient Egypt they believed that if the mummy is destroyed then the statuette can act as an alternative vessel for the spirit,” he explained.
So is Neb-Senu's spirit haunting the museum? Perhaps not: physicist Brian Cox has another theory. He suggests that subtle vibrations could be creating friction between the statuette and the glass shelf it is sitting on, causing it to slowly move. Indeed, it appears from the video that the statue only moves during the daytime, when visitors are walking through the museum.
However, Price is not convinced, since he says the statuette has been on the same surface for years and has never moved before. But whether this newfound mobility is a curse, a prank, or neither, what’s certain is that the baffling mystery will surely be a boon to Manchester Museum.