Berlin marks 100 years of discovering Nefertiti
BERLIN - Agence France-Presse
Egyptian Museum says it will celebrate the centenary of the Nefertiti discovery. AFP Photo
Berlin’s Egyptian Museum has said that 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 an exhibition on Dec. 6 honoring the famous sculpture and other jewels of the Amarna period in its collection on the German capital’s Museum Island.
On the same day in 1912, the bust was unearthed by German archaeologist Ludwig Borchardt.
“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.
Nefertiti, renowned as one of history’s great beauties, was the wife of Pharaoh Akhenaton, remembered for having converted his kingdom to monotheism with the worship of one sun god, Aton. The bust is at the top of a “wish list” of five major artifacts exhibited abroad that Egypt wants returned as part of its cultural heritage. Germany says the sculpture was bought legally by the Prussian state, and that there are documents to prove it. Amarna refers to the ruins of an ancient city founded by Akhenaton, where Borchardt and his team excavated up to 7,000 archaeological objects, about 5,500 of which made their way to Berlin, according to the museum.
The Berlin exhibition, entitled “In the Light of Amarna,” will run until April 13, 2013 and feature about 600 of these objects including Akhenaton and Nefertiti’s restored thrones with carved floral garlands.