Al Ahram Weekly (Wafaa El-Seddiq)
A century has passed since the bust of Nefertiti was discovered in Tel Al-Amarna, near Minya. Eleven years after the discovery a debate over its legitimate ownership erupted, and that debate is still going on. The Germans say that they acquired it legally, whereas the Egyptians maintain that the legalities were fraught with foul play.
Since the Nefertiti bust went into display in Berlin in 1923, researchers and politicians have been arguing about the manner in which this exquisite piece of ancient art left Egypt, and the possible duplicitous involvement in its acquisition by the Germans.
For many people, the Nefertiti bust is the cause celebre for all the stolen treasures of antiquity, for all the invaluable pieces of art that crossed borders in dubious circumstances, and for the numerous campaigns made for their restitution to their places of origin.