Minister rules out lending Nefertiti bust

15th April 2007, Comments 0 comments

16 April 2007, Berlin (dpa) - The German minister responsible for culture ruled out lending Egypt one of Berlin's most famous archaeological treasures, the bust of Queen Nefertiti. Allowing the 3,000-year-old bust of the Egyptian queen to make such a long journey would be "irresponsible," Minister of State for Culture Bernd Neumann said. The minister was responding to demands from campaigners calling for the figure to go on display in other countries, including its native Egypt. "Generally speaking we welc

16 April 2007

Berlin (dpa) - The German minister responsible for culture ruled out lending Egypt one of Berlin's most famous archaeological treasures, the bust of Queen Nefertiti.

Allowing the 3,000-year-old bust of the Egyptian queen to make such a long journey would be "irresponsible," Minister of State for Culture Bernd Neumann said.

The minister was responding to demands from campaigners calling for the figure to go on display in other countries, including its native Egypt.

"Generally speaking we welcome loans of objects within the international museum community. But experts have voiced considerable reservations about a lengthy transportation of Nefertiti from a conservation and restoration point of view," Neumann said.

The plaster bust of Nefertiti is currently on display at Berlin's Altes Museum. It has been in German hands since it was bought by art lover James Simon in 1913.

Nefertiti was the wife of the Egyptian Pharaoh Amenhotep IV and mother-in-law of the Pharaoh Tutankhamun. Her name roughly translates to "the beautiful one is come."

Neumann said the purchase of the bust was legitimate and there was no dispute about its ownership. Egypt had never demanded its return, he added.

When the head of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, Zahi Hawass, visited an exhibition in Berlin in May last year, he said he would like to see Nefertiti go on display in Egypt.

Neumann said relations between Germany and the Antiquities Council were "excellent" and that Germany had provided "considerable" assistance to Egypt for preservation of its temples and other archaeological sites.

DPA

Subject: German news

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