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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 April 2007, 15:36 GMT 16:36 UK
Family in court over fake statue
Shaun Greenhalgh (top) and George Greenhalgh Snr
Bolton Council paid 440,000 for the Amarna Princess fake statue
An 83-year-old man and his family have appeared in court charged in connection with the sale of a fake Egyptian statue which was thought to be worth 1m.

Bolton Council paid 440,000 for the Amarna Princess in 2003 believing it was 3,300-years-old - but in 2006 experts found it was counterfeit.

George Greenhalgh, his wife Olive, 82, and sons, George, 52, and Shaun, 46, appeared at Bolton Magistrates' Court.

They were bailed to appear at Bolton Crown Court on 24 July.

The four, who live together in The Crescent, Bromley Cross, Bolton, were arrested last Saturday.

They are accused of running a family firm selling bogus antiquities.

The statue was said to represent one of the daughters of Pharaoh Akhenaten and Queen Nefertiti, the mother of Tutankhamun.

Arts grants

Officers from the Metropolitan Police's Art and Antiques Unit removed the artefact in March 2006 after concerns were raised.

The council bought the antique with a grant of 360,000 from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, 75,000 from the National Art Collections Fund and 2,500 from the Friends of Bolton Museum and Art Gallery.

The Armana Princess statue
The statue was thought to date back to 1350 BC

The statue went on display in the town's museum after first being featured in an exhibition in London.

George Greenhalgh Snr, Olive Greenhalgh and Shaun Greenhalgh are all accused of conspiracy to defraud, including allegedly selling faked and forged works of arts as genuine, between 1989 and 2006.

They are also charged with money laundering fake arts and antiques and the proceeds of the sales from the antiques.

George Greenhalgh Snr and Shaun Greenhalgh face an additional charge of money laundering the proceeds of the sale of the Amarna Princess.

George Greenhalgh Jnr is charged with money laundering fake arts and antiques and the proceeds of the sales from the antiques.

All four were given unconditional bail and are expected to enter pleas when they appear at Bolton Crown Court in July.

How the statue was unmasked

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