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Berlin to mark 100 years since Nefertiti find
Photo: DPA

Berlin to mark 100 years since Nefertiti find

Published: 28 Aug 2012 15:06 GMT+02:00
Updated: 28 Aug 2012 15:06 GMT+02:00

Berlin's Egyptian Museum said on Monday it will celebrate the centenary of the discovery of the 3,400-year-old fabled bust of Egypt's Queen Nefertiti amid an ongoing feud with Cairo over its ownership.

The museum said it would open the exhibition, "In the Light of Amarna: 100 Years of the Find of Nefertiti," on December 6, the same day in 1912 that the bust was unearthed by German archaeologist Ludwig Borchard in the ancient city of Akhenaton.

Nefertiti, renowned as one of history's great beauties, was the wife of Akhenaton, and remembered for having converted his kingdom to monotheism with the worship of one sun god, Aton. His bust, which was found smashed, will also be on display after being reassembled.

Borchardt and his team excavated up to 7,000 archaeological objects in Akhenaton, about 5,500 of which made their way to Berlin. Many of these have never been on display before, but around 600 have been restored and will be unveiled in December as part of the spectacle.

"The exhibition focuses on never-before-seen discoveries from the collections of the Berlin museum, supplemented by loans from other museums abroad," it said, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Louvre in Paris and London's British Museum.

But the exhibit is not without its critics. Nefertiti is one of the five major artefacts on display abroad that Egypt wants returned. But Germany says the bust was bought legally by the Prussian state, and that the purchase can be proven with documents.

The exhibit will run until April 13 on the German capital's Museum Island. Tickets are on sale now.

AFP/The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

15:52 August 28, 2012 by cheeba
The artifact was bought and paid for. now they are pleading for Germans to participate in financing their new 3.4 Billion IMF loan.

Tell them to drop their bogus claim and then they can have their loan.
17:00 August 28, 2012 by ado1000
I hope they are also going to mark the day Borchardt bought it off a frenchman, the day Borchardt was never allowed back into Egypt, and the day his house in Luxor was blown up!
17:18 August 28, 2012 by septiSeverus
by cheeba

The artifact was bought and paid for. now they are pleading for Germans to participate in financing their new 3.4 Billion IMF loan.

Tell them to drop their bogus claim and then they can have their loan.

Bought and paid for? The African artifact was stolen.

Bogus is the claim to find something that was in existence when most of the descendants forefathers were living in the wetlands and caves of Europe.

Where is the physical or historical evidence of cultural connection between Germany or any of the other European countries at the time to claim ancient African artifacts as part of European cultural history?
17:54 August 28, 2012 by cheeba
@septiSeverus,

The German government has customs stamps to prove this artifact was paid for and brought to Germany legally. subsequent Egyptian governments regretted that decision and manufactured excuses to say the transaction was invalid.

The fact that the new Egyptian government is moving rapidly in a hard line Islamist path (think of Bamiyan Buddahs) is beside the point, but also of concern.

Do you also think the Americans should return the priceless temple of Dendur, which sits in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, having been given to them by Nasser? Nasser was no democrat. What right did he have to do that?

But then what about all the priceless Durer works that sit in a museum in Madrid, because a senile old man was conned by a much younger Spanish woman? Should those be repatriated to Germany as national treasures?
18:49 August 28, 2012 by septiSeverus
@ cheeba

German government record keeping is not in question here.

How does one selling or buying another cultures history give Europeans or the Arabs a connection to ancient Egyptian culture and history?

Regardless of the Arab ignorance and Europeans thievery, how does one European ethic group, the Arabs and the German government have claims to ancient artifacts from Africa?
21:41 August 28, 2012 by avatar009
Hi, those ancient statues must be on their own position. Akhnateen family move from orion belt ring normaly where Osirians comes from. Is not only German steeling Alien Egeyptian statues there are many countries. It doesnt make sene if it is berlin.
00:54 August 29, 2012 by cheeba
If one is going to question the connection between the Europeans, Arabs and these artifacts one must realize the Arabs are the overwhelming majority in Egypt today.

it is the Christian Copts there who are the descendants of the creators of these treasures.

Just pick up a newspaper if you doubt whether they are under grave threat in modern Egypt, with their position likely to become even more unstable with the new Islamist government. they have been emigrating out of fear in ever larger numbers.

So do thes treasures then necessarily belong there, where Salafists may cause harm to them or even destroy them?

Just look what has happened in Nort Africa just this year. Islamists desecrating tombs in Libya, demolishing ancient tombs and libraries in Timbuktu, what will be next?

And by the way, since context has been broughten up again, I will repeat, why are those great German treasures housed in the Thyssen museum in Madrid?

Does not this concept work both ways?
15:04 August 29, 2012 by GolfAlphaYankee
@cheeba:

"it is the Christian Copts there who are the descendants of the creators of these treasures."

after a couple of hundred years of coexistence, mixed marriages, and switching religions, one have to look only to a Copt and a self identified "Egyptian Arab" to see that the two are indistinguishable...

the point about the treat of the Salafist .... fortunately that's a valid concern.

"And by the way, since context has been broughten up again, I will repeat, why are those great German treasures housed in the Thyssen museum in Madrid?"

I don't see the relation, if Germans think they have the right to get back whatever treasures they think are theirs, by all means go for it ! no one is arguing that this should be one why street .....
16:49 August 29, 2012 by franconia
Servus Septi ! You African, Moslem? Believe me "your" art is perfectly save in Europe.

Thousands of pieces of art from Germany has been taken by soldiers after the war to the US, Russia and Britain and most of it is still hidden in private homes. Russia blatantly displays most of it. The list of missing ( stolen ) art is very very long. What Africans are so interested in art in Cairo when 80% of museum visitors are from Europe or the US?

@GolfAlphaYankee, right on the money with your last line !
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