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Egypt demands return of Nefertiti bust from Germany

DPA/The Local · 21 Dec 2009, 09:07

Published: 21 Dec 2009 09:07 GMT+01:00

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Hawass, who heads the Supreme Council of Antiquities, made the announcement after talks in Cairo with Friederike Seyfried, director of the Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection at the Neues Museum in Berlin.

Hawass will "convene an extraordinary meeting to examine the steps required to officially ask for the return of the statue," a statement said.

The statue was discovered in 1912 in southern Egypt by German Egyptologist Ludwig Borchardt.

Hawass said that Seyfried presented him with the agreement signed in 1913 that divided archeological finds between Germany and Egypt.

He said that Borchardt deliberately described the bust as made of plaster and depicting a royal princess, "despite knowing that it was a limestone statue of Queen Nefertiti."

This "proves that Borchardt wrote the description so that Germany could keep the statue," Hawass said.

"It confirms information we had that the statue left Egypt in an unethical manner and that there was fraud and deception from the German part at the time," he said, adding that the fact that Borchardt hid the bust in Germany for about 10 years before revealing it is further proof.

Egypt first requested the statue's return in 1930 but successive German governments have refused.

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Hawass claims that Nefertiti was sneaked out of Egypt under a coating of clay and shipped to Germany.

Berlin insists it acquired the statue legally and is reluctant even to loan it to the Egyptians, citing the danger of moving the "fragile" bust.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

11:07 December 21, 2009 by Victor Scicluna
As much as I love this work of art, there is no argument it belongs to Eygpt.

Founders keepers is no argument as even according to German law if one finds something he/she is bound to hand it over to the authorities and it will become his property only if after one year there has been no rightful cliam to it.
12:53 December 21, 2009 by mixxim
lets make every country return everything to its orinal place but charge for restauration and preservation, once that is completed this could be extended to every town. Future questions on paintings, porcelain, antique cars, books etc. What about people? Would Anglo Saxons`have to be sent to Germany, Normans to Scandinavia.....
14:32 December 21, 2009 by Wabit
I seem to remember something about Germany sending this statue to England to have a reproduction made of it? I understand that it was sent around the year 1928 and was in the hands of a company in Wolverhampton known as "James Gibbons". If the original was returned to Germany or the reproduction, I am unable to say?? But it certainly makes for a most interesting story, and who knows.. One of our readers may have the answer??
18:44 December 21, 2009 by xyz_79
It is GIFT from 'Ra' to Germany, as a token of friendship & love i hope some idiots will honor that..Maybe they have stopped listening to 'Ra' and listen more to Shaikhs now.....
21:23 December 21, 2009 by Henckel
Germany should keep it. It is now one of Germany's national treasures, along with the Pergamon Altar and the Ishtar Gate, all of which are in museums on Berlin's Museum Island.
02:30 December 22, 2009 by wenddiver
Why would you send the modern decendents of Arabs, this beautiful lady?? Their ugly selves could never be her, make her culture, or it's architecture. They are only capable of exploiting her as a tourist attraction and barely competent at that. To send a world class treasure like that to Eygpt, would be to invite her destrution, because she has no Jehab, or by war or because the local dogs can not understand her significance.

Once Eygpt built with giant stone blocks, but Islam taught her to lie in the dirt and build with mud and cardboard.
13:39 December 22, 2009 by Frenemy
@wenddiver: whoa dude...easy on the hatred!! As a hetero, I can't really comment on the men, but if you had ever seen a few (unveiled) Arab women, you would know that they can be smokin' hot! (why do you think those jealous/insecure bastards make them wear hijab in the first place??!!)
05:28 December 23, 2009 by Thames
Maybe if Egypt asked nicely. Otherwise there is no way they should give into demands. It is likely some grave robbers would have stolen it long ago if Borchardt hadn't saved it. Perhaps they could work out some type of agreement to display it for a few years in each country alternately.

But for Egypt to demand something from another nation is insulting. No nation should tolerate that.
07:13 December 23, 2009 by wenddiver
Sorry Frenemy!!! Your right, I lived in that area of the world as a boy, and daily wished to visit the Eygpt of the Pharohs, Ancient Persia Ancient Babalon and Byzantium. I couldn't belive the mess that Islam had left of these more advanced cultures.

I would never consider turning such a treasuer over to such an anti-culture. Nefereti should be kept safe in Germany, until these people throw out Islam and restore their own glory.

It would be like handing over an Albrect Durer religous work to the Nazis, because it came from there, pearls before swine.
12:41 December 23, 2009 by Mick Dee
Hey wenddiver, I recon the Eygpt... are very much alive mate, the Nazis are history if you mean Germany. Other wise I agree with your comment. And still mate ,what would a muslim who grew up in the "area" know about Albrecht Duerer??? Think about what you wrote there!
18:46 December 23, 2009 by Frenemy
admittedly, eggnog/Glühwein has currently compromised my higher intellectual functions...but did you two (wenddiver and Mick Dee) learn how to spell "Egypt" at the same school??
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