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Shaun Greenhalgh, aged 47, admitted his role in offering fake objects between June 1989 and March 2006. He also admitted laundering cash from the sale of the counterfeit Amarna Princess statue, sold to Bolton Council for over £400,000 in September 2003.

The 20-inch sculpture was originally believed to date from 1350BC. It was removed from public display last year by the Metropolitan police art and antiques unit. Experts that examined it then determined it was not genuine.

Greenhalgh appeared at Bolton Crown Court on July 31, along with his father George, aged 83, his mother Olive, aged 82, and his older brother George, aged 52.

All four were granted bail until September 7 for a further hearing.