Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Battle for Ka-nefer-nefer


The battle for the mask of Ka-nefer-nefer in the St. Louis Art Museum continues so I have collected a few articles from the past few years in hopes of explaining the situation.

The mask from the St. Louis Art Museum is from the Egypt's 19th dynasty ca. 1250bce and is its star attraction.The mask was found at Sakkara in 1952, the officials went looking for it in 1959 and found it missing from its holdings.

The Egyptian authorities have presented to the directors of the St. Louis Art Museum their evidence including photos of the mask emerging from its burial. The Slam's directors reject Egypt's claim on the mask. The documents have been presented by Egypt to the International court as well as the International Art theft registry.

It will take time pulling apart the various provenances and explanations of St Louis's nineteenth dynasty mask and a mask found in the early 1950's and called by its excavator Ka-nefer-nefer which is missing.

David Gill at Looting Matters has great information on the mask.

 St. Louis bought the mask legally and even asked Cairo if it was okay and they said okay unfortunately Cairo regrets its decision.

Photo:(St. Louis Art Museum)

2 comments:

Scrabcake said...

I've done a little research on Ka Nefer Nefer and the other items in her burial and what we know of her as a person. (And how we know it.)
The historical information on this find tends to get lost in discussions about the mask which center on the cultural property conflict.
Ka Nefer Nefer
Some things I'd still like to know: why did Goneim think that the burials above the pyramid of Sekhemkhet belong to a Libyan population in Egypt?
Did the mask originally belong to Ka Nefer Nefer? Goneim remarks on bandage impressions on the varnish of the mask, but Ka Nefer Nefer was not mummified. Also, the mask is unnamed and Ka Nefer Nefer's nickname, Neferu, was scrawled on it in Hieratic. This has been rubbed off since the item went on the Antiquities market.
I'd also like to get a good picture of the vignette on the front of the mask so I can do a facsimile of it.

Geoff Carter said...

Interesting; imo it looks on balance to be stolen, and should be returned.