12th-century key to the Kaaba sold for £9.2 million

A 12th Century key to Islam’s holiest shrine has sold at auction in London for $18.1m (£9.2m).The key to the Kaaba – the ancient cube-shaped shrine in Mecca – went to an anonymous bidder at Sotheby’s.

The auction house said the price set a record for the sale of an Islamic work of art.

Made of iron and measuring 37cm in length, the key is engraved with the words “This was made for the Holy House of God”.

The key was the centrepiece of Sotheby’s Islamic art sale, which realised more than $40m (£21.5m) in total.

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