Last Update 21:27
Tuesday, 23 July 2019

German foundation refuses to return Nefertiti bust to Egypt

Nefertiti bust will not leave Berlin, says German foundation

Reuters, Tuesday 25 Jan 2011
Share/Bookmark
Views: 1528
Share/Bookmark
Views: 1528

 A German foundation rejected on Monday an Egyptian request to return the 3,400-year-old bust of Queen Nefertiti, a sculpture which draws over one million viewers annually to a Berlin museum.

Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) sent the request to the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, which runs the Neues Museum in the German capital where the bust is kept.

"The foundation's position on the return of Nefertiti remains unchanged," foundation president Professor Hermann Parzinger said in a statement. "She is and remains the ambassador of Egypt in Berlin."

Egypt's antiquities chief, Zahi Hawass, appealed to the foundation seeking the return of the bust, famed for its almond-shaped eyes and swan-like neck. However, the foundation said it did not consider the letter an official state request as it had not been signed by Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif.

German archaeologist Ludwig Borchardt discovered the bust about 275 km south of Cairo in 1912, and it was taken to Germany the following year.

Hawass, who sent a similar letter in 2009, has said in the past that documents presented by the Neues Museum confirmed Borchardt tried to pass the bust off as a less significant find to secure it for Berlin. The museum has said it was acquired lawfully and Egypt had no legal claim to it.

The SCA, which Hawass heads, said in an email that its request had been approved by both Prime Minister Nazif and the Egyptian ministry of culture.
"This request is a natural consequence of Egypt's long-standing policy of seeking the restitution of all archaeological and historical artefacts that have been taken illicitly out of the country," it said.

Hawass has campaigned to repatriate several pharaonic treasures in recent years, including the Rosetta Stone now in the British Museum. 

Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's
Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.
Latest

© 2010 Ahram Online.