Saturday, March 13, 2010

Nefertiti. Again.

Al Masry Al Youm (Andrew Bossone)

Thousands of artifacts are now returning to Egypt from abroad, but one piece continues to elude decades of government calls for its return: the famous bust of Nefertiti.

The bust has become such a contentious symbol that a copy of it is now part of an exhibition at the Ruhr Museum in Germany dubbed "The Great Game: Archaeology and Politics in the Colonial Period," open until 13 June.

The original, unfinished sculpture from Thutmose's workshop in Tel Amarna is internationally recognized for its artistic quality and aesthetic beauty.

The Egyptian government says it was illegally smuggled out of the country some time around 1924. The German government has always refused to repatriate the queen, which remains the centerpiece of the Neues Museum in Berlin.

The Ruhr exhibition also displays the contract between the Egyptian government and the sponsor of the Thutmose's workshop exhibition, James Simon, who was also the founder of the German Oriental Society.

No comments: