Nefertiti will stay in Berlin

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June 3rd, 2010 – The Federal Government informs in its press release no. 180 from May 19th, 2010, about the fate of “Nefertiti”:

On the occasion of the current discussion about possible Egyptian demands to return the bust of Nefertiti, Minister of State for Culture, Bernd Naumann, has once again clarified his position today, Wednesday: “The bust of Nefertiti stays in Berlin!”

The famous bust of Nefertiti remains the highlight of the Egyptian collection in the New Museum. Photo: Xenon 77 / Wikipedia.

Bernd Naumann, who is also Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, stressed: “The bust of Nefertiti was legally acquired in 1913 by the German Orient Society and, later, by the Prussian State within the framework of a division of the finds. Records confirm that beyond any doubt. Hence, Egypt has no legal claims whatsoever. Being the highlight of the Egyptian collection in the New Museum Nefertiti is the best and most beautiful ambassador of Egyptian art and culture in Germany. She receives the best conservational care possible which is highly necessary in her fragile state.”

The Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation has particularized and verified the procedure and the execution of the division of the finds in 1913 several times by now. In those days, it was agreed that the German team of archaeologists divide the finds into two, and that the Egyptian Antiquities Service representing the Egyptian government chooses its part. Due to the Egyptian choice the part containing the coloured bust of Nefertiti was assigned to the Germans. An Egyptian loan request from 2007 was denied by the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation with reference to the bust’s fragility ascertained by the Rathgen Research Laboratory. Minister of State for Culture, Naumann, supported the Foundation’s position. Due to its conservational state, Nefertiti is deemed unsuited for transport.