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Monday, 28 January 2008

image for Rosetta Stone: "Old, Damaged and Poorly Packed". Furious Ebay buyer posts Negative Feedback
The British Museum: treasures sold on Ebay

London (Reuters) - The art world was reeling today after the winner of an Ebay auction for the Rosetta Stone posted negative feedback complaining that the stone was poorly packed, missed pieces and was "not the same colour as the photos".

The seller, James Higginbotham-Smythetrouser, Ebay moniker "britmuse", Curator of Ancient Artifacts at the British Museum, had posted retaliatory NFB, "What a dickhead, doesn't this turd realise the hieroglyphic, demotic, and Greek symbols unlocked the key to Egyptian hieroglyphic translation?" before being taken into custody at Bow Street.

A spokesman for the Museum said that over the last few months Museum employees had noticed several significant items missing from display cabinets, and were becoming suspicious that the artifacts had been mislaid or stolen. Missing were:

A figure from the Terracotta Army, described by Higginbotham-Smythetrouser as "One of a batch of only a few thousand made, you are sure to be delighted with this life size Chinaman from the fifth century BC. Would make an excellent talking piece placed next to your garden pond." It sold for 10.50 GBP to Ebay user "GardenGnome57"

The Katabet Mummy, which sold for 4.99 GBP, was described as "Looking a bit tired, but remarkably well preserved considering its age (18th Dynasty). Comes complete with a gold tooled sarcophagus and several turquoise-encrusted rods and sticks of various sizes."

The Magna Carta ("A nice original, some curling at the edges, a few stains, probably coffee, priced to sell! Bidding starting at 99p! Check my feedback: you wont be disappointed.") attracted little interest, selling after three bids to Ebay buyer "fartboyheaven17" for 4.50 GBP.

Higginbotham-Smythetrouser has been charged with the illegal sale of priceless national treasures on Ebay, and can expect a lengthy custodial sentence if convicted, as is normal for this charge.

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