Friday, December 25, 2009

Nefertiti in an An Act of Deceit

After this past week's meeting between Friederike Seyfried, director of the Aegyptisches Museum und Papyrussammiung in Berlin and Zahi Hawass, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities the negotiations for the return of the bust of Nefertiti have moved onto the next stage of transfer of the iconic bust to Cairo.

The documents director Seyfried presented to Dr. Hawass appear to show deceit on the part of the excavator Ludwig Borchardt "did act unethically with intent to deceive in order to keep the bust in the German share".

Dr. Hawass goes on "It seems that there was an agreement between Borchardt and Lefèvre that all the plaster pieces (which included an important group of plaster masks of the royal family at Amarna), would go to Berlin, and this appears to have been one way that Borchardt misled Lefèvre to ensure that the bust would go to Berlin as well,"
This is to be expected from the Egyptian point of view but time will tell if the German officials can be talked out of their biggest star!

1 comment:


Borchardt knew very well that he had employed deceit in sneaking Nefertiti to Berlin. For ten years after the bust had arrived in Germany, Borchardt prevented its being shown to the public for fear of Egyptian reaction. He had to persuade the direction of Neues Museum not to show it, despite pressure from the director to show it publicly. Once the object was publicly displayed in 1923, the Egyptians started to request its return. So it is not from today that the Egyptians have been requesting the return of the bust. The Germans must do the right thing and return the bust just as the one who financed the excavations at Amarna and donated the bust to the museum, James Simon, had wanted to do.