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Cyprus seeks answers after state gift to Thatcher sold at auction

Art historian Maria Paphiti found that the 2,700-year-old vase had been sold at Christie’s auction house in May for about £6,000.

Margaret Thatcher was given the vase when she was PM (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Margaret Thatcher was given the vase when she was PM (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

By Associated Press Reporters

Cyprus is to seek an explanation from the British Government as to how an ancient vase given to the late prime minister Margaret Thatcher as a state gift ended up being sold at auction.

A government official said Cyprus’s embassy in London would raise the issue with UK authorities.

In a tweet, art historian Maria Paphiti found that the 2,700-year-old vase had been sold at Christie’s auction house in May for about £6,000.

The vase was given to Mrs Thatcher by former Cyprus president George Vassiliou three decades ago.

The government official said diplomatic protocol bars selling off state gifts.

It is unclear how the vase ended up at the auction.

PA

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