Thursday, February 03, 2011

Nefertiti dispute continues

Al Ahram Weekly (Nevine El-Aref)

It seems that there is no foreseeable resolution to the conflict over the 3,400-year-old bust of Queen Nefertiti, wife of the monotheistic Pharaoh Akhenaten. Last Monday the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) sent an official letter of request to Germany asking for the return of the magnificent painted bust of the queen to her native land.

The letter was sent by Zahi Hawass, secretary- general of the SCA, to Hermann Parzinger, president of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation in Berlin. This foundation is the governing body of all the State museums in Germany, including the Neues Museum where the Nefertiti bust is on display. At the same time two copies of the bust have been made and sent to the Egyptian ambassador in Germany and Germany ambassador in Egypt.

Hawass describes such an initiative as a natural consequence of Egypt's long-standing policy of seeking the restitution of all archaeological and historical artefacts that have been taken illicitly out of the country, especially those items that are considered unique.

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