(LONDON) — An ancient Egyptian statue in a British museum has sparked debate after it was captured on video seemingly rotating on its own.
The 10-inch tall statue of Neb-senu has been on display at the Manchester Museum in Manchester, England, for 80 years but it was only recently that museum staff noticed the statue moving.
“Most Egyptologists are not superstitious people. I wondered who had changed the object’s position without telling me,” the museum’s curator, Campbell Price, told the U.K.’s Sun. “But the next time I looked, it was facing in another direction — and a day later had yet another orientation.”
With his curiosity piqued, Price returned the statue of the Egyptian idol to its original position in a locked glass case and set up a camera to film the statue over an 11-hour period. The resulting time-lapse video, Price says, shows the statue moving on its own.
Other experts attribute the rotation to a more scientific reasoning, such as subtle vibrations that cause the statue to move.
“The statue only seems to spin during the day when people are in the museum,” Carol Redmount, associate professor of Egyptian archeology at the University of California, Berkeley, told ABC News. “It could have something to do with its individual placement and the individual character of the statue.”
The statue, made from serpentine, shows what is likely an official with “priestly duties,” according to Price, wearing a shoulder-length wig and knee-length kilt.
The hieroglyphs on the back of the statue spell out, “bread, beer and beef,” a “prayer for offerings for the spirit of the man,” Price told the Sun.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Holly Yan, David Williams and Steve Almasy, CNN
Joshua Berlinger and Holly Yan, CNN Newswire