Sotheby’s withdraws Mahfouz materials from auction
Ahram Online, Thursday 15 Dec 2011
Sale cancelled after questions were raised about the Mahfouz archives up for auction

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 HatemSeif El-Nasr, the Egyptian ambassadorin London, has said that joint effortsbetweenthe Ministry ofForeign Affairs and the Ministry of Culturein Egyptthroughthe Egyptian embassyin Londonhaveresulted in the cancelling of the auction.

For its part, Sotheby'sissued 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 Sotheby’s takes title issues very seriously and has, accordingly, withdrawn the papers from sale until this is resolved.”