Monday, October 5, 2009

Nefertiti's New Home

The famous bust of Nefertiti in the Altes Museum in Berlin has now been moved to its new room in the recently restored Neues Museum, the museum was badly damaged in WWII and has recently been restored at a cost of about $400 million. The bust has been at the center of controversy over the years as it is unique and some think it should belong to Egypt's national collection.

The bust was found in 1912 by a German excavation headed by Ludwig Borchardt unfortunately when it came time for the division of the finds the antiquities inspector of the day Gustave Lefebvre did not do his job well, as a result he gave the bust to the German expedition as fate would have it the Egyptian antiquities officials only found out a decade later at the same time as Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter were fighting Egyptian nationalists for control of the tomb of Tutankhamun.

The bust of Nefertiti has generated coveted affections over the years particularly in recent years with Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities secretary general Dr. Zahi Hawass who has repeatedly asked for the bust to be returned to Egypt as a loan, unfortunately, he appears to see the queen as stolen in the first place.

More than likely the antiquities inspector Gustave Lefebvre was negligent in his duties for whatever reason though the German excavator Ludwig Borchardt was a man with a past action of creating a fake to fool others, as a result the bust of Nefertiti and another important stelae (now in Cairo) from that expedition are questioned as to their authenticity's today.

Hopefully, with the passing of Dr. Hawass' tenure cooler heads will prevail and Nefertiti will someday be on display if only for a short time in the Egyptian national collection till then the limestone bust is safe in its new display to face many more years of controversy.

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