Egypt’s minister for antiquities, Zahi Hawass, has announced that he will send an official letter to the German government requesting the return of the painted Nefertiti bust now on display at the Neues Museum in Berlin. Hawass revealed his intention during an inspection tour around the different sections of the planned Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) overlooking Giza plateau. He added that with the letter he will include all documents confirming Egypt’s ownership of the bust, confirming that it was taken illegally to Germany.
“These documents are a statement to the whole world that the Nefertiti bust belongs to Egypt and not Germany,” Hawass said, pointing out that if he was not able to return the bust now, whoever succeeds him will.
Egypt will make a formal request to Germany for the return of the 3,400 year-old bust of fabled Queen Nefertiti, the state minister for antiquities said Tuesday but Germany said the bust will remain in Berlin.
Zahi Hawass said a letter would be sent to Germany to demand the return of the Nefertiti bust, nearly a century after it was uncovered on the banks of the Nile.
"A formal request will be sent through the Egyptian foreign ministry next week, attached with all the evidence that shows the 3,400-year-old statue was smuggled out of the country illegally," Hawass said.
Hawass had already sent a request to Germany in January in his capacity as head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, one day before the launch of anti-regime protests that led to the ouster of president Hosni Mubarak.