The Sotheby's of London auction house had announced that it would offer a major cache of manuscripts by Nobel Prize-winning Egyptian writer Naguib Mahfouz for sale Thursday.
But Hatem Seif El-Nasr, the Egyptian ambassador in London, has said that joint efforts between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Culture in Egypt through the Egyptian embassy in London have resulted in the cancelling of the auction.
For its part, Sotheby's issued this statement:
“While it is clear that Sotheby’s consignor had purchased the Mahfouz manuscripts from a member of Naguib Mahfouz’s family, other family members have within the last hour issued a challenge to that purchase. Sotheby’s takes title issues very seriously and has, accordingly, withdrawn the papers from sale until this is resolved.”