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Last Updated: Friday, 19 October 2007, 16:59 GMT 17:59 UK
Pair admit fraud over fake statue
George and Olive Greenhalgh
The couple pleaded guilty to fraud over the fake statue
An 84-year-old man and his 83-year-old wife have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud over the sale of a fake Egyptian statue to Bolton council.

The 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 and his wife Olive, of The Crescent in Bromley Cross, will be sentenced on 16 November.

Their son Shaun Greenhalgh, 47, has already admitted the same charges.

Another son, not charged in relation to the conspiracy, faces a charge of acquiring criminal property to which he has pleaded not guilty.

He will face trial on 4 February 2008.

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

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

The anonymous vendor claimed their great grandfather had bought the statue at the auction of the Devon property of the Earl of Egremont in 1892 and had taken it to his Bolton home.

The private collector expressed a wish for the Amarna Princess to return to the town.

Only two similar pieces are believed to exist - one is in the Louvre in Paris and the other in a museum in Philadelphia.

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 statue, said to date back to 1350 BC, went on display in the town's museum after first being featured in an exhibition at the Hayward Gallery in London, which was opened by the Queen.

Pictures of the couple's most expensive forgery

Man admits passing off fake art
31 Jul 07 |  Manchester
Family in court over fake statue
26 Apr 07 |  Manchester

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