Mystery of ‘cursed’ Egyptian statue solved
Riddle of rotating statue thought to be due to vibration
An ancient Egyptian statue which was thought to be possessed with an ancient curse when found randomly turning on its axis at a museum is not cursed, a TV mystery solver said.
An expert from a show on British TV said that he has evidence of external vibrations causing the 25cm statue to rotate “is conclusive,” said the expert from the UK-based ITV channel program Mystery Map.
Manchester Museum’s bosses were baffled by the statuette which seemed to spin – unassisted - 180 degrees, a video had showed.
However, the figure only turned during the day.
One academic suggested that the statue rotated due to differential friction, where two surfaces cause a subtle vibration.
During the channel’s Mystery Map programe, an expert put vibration sensors under the cabinet, finding a peak vibration level which coincided with movements from museum visitors and traffic from a busy nearby road.
"There has been an understandable concern that the worldwide media attention of the ‘spinning statuette’ has reinforced tired ideas of ancient Egypt being weird, mysterious and spooky,” said the museum’s Egyptologist Campbell Price, according to London-based daily The Independent.
“These ideas are still deeply ingrained in modern culture and the museum has attempted – as we have done for other topics – to challenge these through explanations of [equally interesting] Pharaonic beliefs and practices,” he added.
Now, the statuette’s formerly mysterious days of rotation have ceased, due to an attachment fixed to its base.