Monday, August 24, 2009

Queen of Egypt's Heart

Originally published August 20 - 26, 2009 | Al-Ahram Weekly Online | by Jill Kamil

The following is an excerpt from an article at Al-Ahram Weekly Online, which describes the famous bust of Nefertiti' long history, both ancient and modern:

Nefertiti's bust has recently made headlines, in newspapers, magazines, and by bloggers on the Internet. BBC News, under the title "German guile won Queen Nefertiti..." described how "newly- published documents show how a German archaeologist used trickery to smuggle home a fabulous sculpture of the Egyptian Queen, Nefertiti." Agence France-Press confidently reported that the famed bust was a 20th-century copy. And Dawn Martinez-Byrne, in a blog, posed several questions that caught my attention because I had heard many of them before -- voiced by Egyptian post- revolutionary intellectuals.

It looks like the Germans are giving Zahi Hawass a dose of his own medicine, claiming that the "Berlin Bust" is far too delicate to travel back to her homeland. I say, those wooden coffers in the traveling Tutankhamun exhibit are far more delicate than Nefertit's bust, being made of far more delicate material.


  1. Lol..

    Not only are the wooden coffers delicate, apparently non-flash photography causes some sort of ethereal damage. The ban on non-invasive photography can't possibly have anything to do with all the pictures for sale in the Tut Shop at the end of the exhibit, right? I paid $16 for four refrigerator magnets! Highway robbery!

    But having thus vented, the exhibit is well worth the visit. I went with a small group of friends from Louisville, KY, about a 2 hour drive each way, and I intend to go back before the exhibit closes in October. If you are anywhere withing driving distance to Indy, you owe it to yourself to check it out.

    (Chicago isn't THAT far away, Scholar..)

  2. I had the pleasure of spending a good fours hours drooling (metaphorically speaking, of course) over the artifacts featured in the Tutankhamun exhibit when it was at the Field Museum (July 9, 2006...I will always remember the date). I'm sore for not being able to attend Zahi Hawass' recent lecture when he was in Indianapolis (you're right, not too far away from Chicago).

    Having asked a docent why a person couldn't take a picture of anything within the exhibit, she "threw" the copyright card at me. Has someone claimed copyright--Hawass? These artifacts are far past their copyright date lol

    I think I'll use that: "ethereal damage."

    I wonder how many more fissures developed or expanded on the stone artifacts, with all that moving around from city to city (but I have confidence they are taking the proper precautions to ensure a bumpy-free ride as they travel across deserts and oceans).