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26.12.2016 Feature Article

Did Egyptians Never Ask For The Restitution Of Nefertiti?

Universal Museum Enthusiast Wrestles With Veracity And Reality
Right side of Nefertiti, Egypt, now in Neues Museum, Berlin, Germany.Right side of Nefertiti, Egypt, now in Neues Museum, Berlin, Germany.
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“The restitution of those cultural objects which our museums and collections, directly or indirectly, possess thanks to the colonial system and are now being demanded, must also not be postponed with cheap arguments and tricks.”

Gert v. Paczensky and Herbert Ganslmayr, Nofretete will nach Hause. (1)

One of the enduring characteristics of the supporters of the so-called universal museum seems to be a determination not to be deflected from their position by any amount of information or knowledge that seems unfavourable to the adopted position. They remind us of the statement 'Don't confuse me with facts'. They adamantly refuse to acknowledge that the owners of looted artefacts or artefacts acquired under dubious circumstances, want their objects back. They cannot admit for one moment that the owners of the artefacts in Western museums are also interested in those objects. In the face of demands for the return of the looted Benin Bronzes, we are told no one has asked for them even if a Nigerian minister has gone to Berlin for that purpose. That the Oba of Benin sent his brother to speak before the British Parliament is conveniently ignored. An example of this attitude is demonstrated by Herman Parzinger, President of. German Foundation for Culture, Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz , that controls the Museums in Berlin and the projected Humboldt Forum.

In his book, Abenteurer Archäologie, Eine Reise durch die Menscheitsgeschichte (Archaeology Adventure, Journey through History of Mankind, 2016), Hermann Parzinger makes the claim that Egypt has never officially requested the return of the Bust of Nefertiti that is in the Neues Museum in Berlin:

''Because of the special importance of the bust, the circumstances of the division of the fund is now and again discussed and representatives of the Egyptian Antiquities Authority occasionally demand the restitution of the bust of Nefertiti. The fact is the division of the fund was done in accordance with the then prevailing legal rules and therefore the Egyptian Government has never officially requested the return of the bust.'' (2)

This astonishing statement from Parzinger must be viewed again the background of disputes and discussions concerning the Egyptian Queen in Berlin that are as famous as those regarding the Parthenon Marbles in London. We have in the past written on several aspects of the question of restitution regarding the restitution of the bust of Nefertiti. (3)

The impression that Parzinger is trying to create is that the Egyptians have not seriously contested the presence of Nefertiti in Berlin and have not really insisted formally on her restitution. This is contrary to the bulk of evidence that is easily available.

When the Secretary- General of the Egyptian Supreme Authority on Antiquities makes a demand on behalf of his government for the restitution of Nefertiti most people will regard this request as formal enough. But the last time that the dynamic Zahi Hawass , then Secretary-General made such a request to Hermann Parzinger, President of the Preußischer Stiftung that holds the bust, the Germans said such a request had to come from a minister even though Hawass was the head of the office that controlled antiquities in Egypt. Hawass subsequently became a minister and repeated the request but the Germans said such a request had to come from the cabinet or the President: They seemed to be arguing that the President of Egypt must sign such a request. The Germans thus reached the height of absurdity in this matter and were not ashamed of such a baseless argument. (4) Parzinger is reported to have said that even if the Egyptians made a formal demand, it would make no difference. So, what is the point in saying they have not made such a demand? (5)

Egypt at the time of the find of Nefertiti on 6 December 1912 was still

dominated by the British who wielded political control and the French who controlled administration of antiquities. The committee that made the decision to leave the bust to the Germans was composed of Europeans and presided over by a Frenchman. Professor Ludwig Borchardt , the German archaeologist who 'discovered' Nefertiti was also a member of the committee.

Long before Zahi Hawass became head of antiquities in Egypt, the Egyptians

had been making claims for the return of Nefertiti. Borchardt had allegedly played a trick on the other members of the committee that divided the fund at Amarna. He had apparently covered the find with a layer of grime so that the other members of the committee who made the evaluation of the find did not properly see the whole lot and thus the importance of the find was not obvious to them. It was decided to leave the socle on which the bust stood in Egypt and let Borchardt have the bust. When he brought the bust to Germany in 1913, there was some hesitation in showing it to the public for fear of Egyptian reaction. Nefertiti was kept secret for ten years. In 1923, the bust was shown in a book by Borchardt, 'Porträts der Konigin Nofretete' and after the publication, the Egyptians demanded the return of the Queen but the Germans refused. Hermann Schlögl writes that the French members of the committee that decided the division of the find at Armana were angry when they discovered the trick by Borchardt and requested the immediate return of the bust to Cairo.

Parzinger writes that James Simon as financer of the expedition in Armana acquired Nefertiti and other objects found there. What Parzinger omits to add is that James Simon himself pleaded for the return of the bust of the Egyptian Queen to Egypt and that German officials were agreeable to this and a date had even been set for the transfer until the notorious Adolf Hitler, with his own fantasies of Nefertiti as the centre-piece of a projected gigantic German museum, stepped in and said emphatically 'Nein'. Dietrich Wildung , a former director of the Agyptische Museum confirms this in his book, Die vielen Gesichter der Nofretete. (7) Subsequent German actions thus followed the wishes of the dictator rather than those of the rich Jewish benefactor Incidentally, the Berlin Museums did not seem to be in a hurry to honour adequately Simon whom Parzinger describes as a great benefactor of the museums in Berlin. Was there a difficulty because he was Jewish? In any case, Simon's grandson, Hans Karl Westphal, did not seem to have obtained the implementation of assurances made to the benefactor as regards the donations he had made to the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz.

If Egypt never made an official request for the return of the bust of Nefertiti, as Parzinger alleges, he must explain to us all the various visits of German officials to Egypt to discuss Nefertiti and the various meetings and statements by the German Foreign Ministry and Ministry for Culture denying the restitution of the famous bust. He must also explain why Adolf Hitler had to say' Nein' to the return of Nefertiti to Cairo. As the documentation shows, everybody seems to have been aware of meetings and discussion between German and Egyptian officials. (8)

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James Simon (1851-1932) financed excavation that found Nefertiti.

Parzinger declares that those who claim restitution of an object acquired legally some hundred years ago, do not recognize the real problem today and refers to current illegal diggings. (9) This is a familiar ploy by the supporters of the so-called universal museum. They tell Africans not to spend efforts and time on artefacts which were transferred hundred years ago, from Africa to the British Museum, the Museums in Berlin and Paris. Our answer is as follows.

We are all equally concerned by the looting of artefacts and illegal diggings that are still taking place in Africa and would like to stop them. But this should not prevent us from claiming at the same time objects that have been looted or transferred under dubious circumstance in the past. The one does not exclude the other, especially when you consider that ancient illegal transfers ended in Western States where contemporary looted objects also end. Perhaps if the West would set a good example in the first case by returning some artefacts such as the Benin Bronzes, this might discourage some of the present looters who would be thus informed that Western institutions are not interested in looted objects and would return them to Africa and punish the illegal dealers.

The advice not to concern ourselves too much with artefacts acquired illegally in the past always sounds a bit strange coming from those whose duty is to research the past and from countries that attach great importance to antique objects. We used to think that a major difference between lawyers and archaeologists was that whereas the lawyers tended to think in terms of statutes of limitations of short periods, three, six or ten years, the archaeologists tended to think in terms of thousands and millions of years. What are hundred years in the life of Egyptian and African peoples?

How can we forget artefacts looted in the past or acquired under dubious circumstances, seeing that the best African artefacts are already in Western States? Does Parzinger realize that artefacts such as the bust of Nefertiti become a constituent element in the creation of a national identity?

Parzinger has not convinced us that his approach to the question of restitution of Nefertiti was based on a scholarly approach especially since he wrongly asserts, contrary to all evidence that the Egyptians have not officially asked for the return of the bust of the Egyptian Queen. Has he not found it necessary to do the archaeology of restitution as he must know that there are several layers of solid information on the issues. But is the President of the Prussian Foundation really interested in such issues, apart from defending the German position to the point of denying the reality of the existence of contrary positions?

Denial of the existence of demands for restitution is probably the weakest of all the weak arguments of the supporters of the universal museum. It is also the most insulting. The denial is very easy to demolish since those deprived of their artefacts are constantly clamouring for their return. Usually, such requests start as soon as the deprived people have recovered from the shock of the deprivation or the shock of the attack as in the case of Benin or the end of colonial domination. Demands for restitution are the most human reaction to acts of deprivation.

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Presentation of the bust of Nefertiti shortly after its discovery.

Left to right-Hermann Ranke, Paul Karge, Mohammed Senussi.

Denials of the existence of such demands add insults to injuries by implying that the deprived, not being as cultured as the holders, have not even bothered to ask for the return of their own cultural artefacts. They thus almost deny their humanity since the most natural reaction would be to request return of the objects. Such denials also, reflect the arrogance of the victorious or powerful who tell the weak or defeated: 'You can shout as much as you want but we will not even hear you. You are wasting your time'.'

Those who deny the existence of requests for restitution act as if the United Nations and UNESCO did not exist: they ignore what the international organizations and international conferences have demanded over the years. They have been requested to return artefacts acquired in the colonial period, looted or acquired under dubious circumstances. ICOM Code of Ethics for Museums, puts on the holder States an obligation to take initiative for discussions on returns. (10)

Such denials have the great advantage that one does not have to deal with the substance of the requests since in principle they have not been made. Any groups within Western States that may suggest it is time to return the contested artefacts would be silenced with the indication that the original owners themselves have not even bothered to ask for them.

Such a denial has has been seriously stated in the case of the bust of Nefertiti and the Benin Bronzes. Such is the state of affairs between the powerful and the weak States in our contemporary world.

Considering the extraordinary excessive amount of excellent Egyptian artefacts that Germany has taken from Egypt over the decades, Germans should be ashamed to be seen disputing with Egyptians over an Egyptian artefact, however beautiful and important it may be. It is true though that many Westerners have banned morality and justice from issues of restitution. Greed seems to be the creed here. (11)

“On the other hand, even after giving away the colourful bust of Nefertiti, the Berlin Museum would still be far superior to all other collections, including that in Cairo, as regards the number and artistic value of the artworks from the Amarna period. And among our stock are many pieces that are of higher artistic rank than the elegant bust of the colourful queen”.

James Simon, 28 June 1930 (12)
Kwame Opoku, 25 December, 2016.
1. “Die Rückgabe jener Kulturschätze, die unsere Museen und Sammlungen direkt oder indirekt dem Kolonialsystemverdanken und die jetzt zurückverlangt werden, sollte ebenfalls nicht mit billigen Argumenten und Tricks hinausgezögert werden“.

Gert v. Paczensky and Herbert Ganslmayr, Nofretete will nach Hause, p.185, C.Bertelsmann, München, 1984. It is interesting that Paczensky and Ganslmayr entitled their book in 1984, 'Nefertiti wants to go home' but Parzinger tells us in 2016 that the Egyptians have not officially requested her return. Will nobody welcome her in Cairo should she return as she must one day? See also Cultur Cooperation e.V. - Nefertiti travels

Nefertiti Bust - Wikipedia
2. Herman Parzinger, Abenteuer Archäologie, Eine Reise durch die Menschheitsgeschichte, Verlag C. H. Beck, Munich, 2016.p.115

'Aufgrund der besonderen Bedeutung der Büste wurden die Umstande der Fundteilung immer wieder thematisiert und Vertreter der ägyptischen Altertümerverwaltung fordern gelegentlich der Rückgabe der Nofretete. Fakt ist, dass die Fundteilung den damals gültigen rechtlichen Regelungen folgte, auch deshalb hat die ägyptische Regierung die Büste nie offiziell zurückgefordert.'

3. K. Opoku , Nefertiti in absurdity: How often must Egyptians … ...

K. Opoku, Nefertiti, Ideate and other African Icons Revisited ...

K. Opoku – Hawass Requests Return of Nefertiti ...
Kwame Opoku – Nefertiti, Idia and other African Icons in ... › Home › African Art

German foundation refuses to return Nefertiti bust | Reuters ...

4. K. Opoku, Nefertiti in Dispute again German: Refusal to envisage her return to Egypt.

5. In a special issue of National Geographic devoted to a Nofretete exhibition in Berlin, 'Im Lichte von Amarna', (7 Dezember 2012 to 13 April 2013 in Neuen Museum/Ägyptischen Museum), we read in a text by Christian Schule at p.72, as follows: ''Seit 1924 hat es immer wieder Rückgabefoderungen des ägyptischen Antikendienstes und des Ägyptischen Museums in Kairo gegeben. Vor allem Zahi Hawass, von 2002 an Direktor der Obersten Antikenverwaltung, hat sie bis zum Sturz der Mubarak-Regierung regelmassig erneuert. Der Adressat: Hermann Parzinger, Präsident der Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz, zu der das Ägyptische Museum gehört. Zweimal habe Hawass ihm persönlich eine kurze Mail geschrieben, sagt Parzinger, die restliche Forderung seien öffentlichkeitswirksam über die Presse gestellt worden. 'Das ist für uns kein Thema Es gab bis zum heutigen Tage nie eine offizielle Rückforderung der ägyptischen Regierung, und selbst wenn es gäbe, wurde das nichts an der Tatsache ändern, dass es damals eine rechtmassige Fundteilung war.''

An article in the National of 7.12.2012 stated:
However, speculation persists that the Germans cheated their Egyptian counterparts to get hold of Nefertiti, the prize of the dig.

''The archaeologist Ludwig Borchardt, who headed the excavation, tried to divert attention from the significance of Nefertiti's bust during a meeting in January 1913 to divide up the spoils of the exhibition between Egypt and Germany on a 50-50 basis. That, at least, is what the secretary of the German Oriental Society (DOG), Bruno Güterbock, claimed.

In a recently unearthed document, Guterbock, who was at the meeting, wrote that Borchardt had presented Gustave Lefebvre, Egypt's French inspector of antiquities, with an unflattering photo of the bust and had lied about the material it was made of. He claimed it was made from gypsum, whereas he knew that Nefertiti's core was made of stone. Güterbock mentioned his misgivings about "cheating on the material" to Borchardt, who dismissed the criticism, saying he could always claim later that he had been mistaken.

Spiegel magazine reported this week that Borchardt had later admitted showing Lefebvre a photo taken from an angle "so that one can't see the full beauty of the bust, but it will suffice to refute later talk by third parties that anything was kept secret".

Nefertiti exhibition at Berlin's Neues Museum stirs a 100 ...

See also a Spiegel article on the question of deception by Borchardt. Re-Examining Nefertiti's Likeness and Life - ABC News

Interesting information can also be found in Büste der Nofretete – Wikipediaüste_der_Nofretete

6. We find in the very official catalogue of the exhibition Im Licht von Amarna-100 Jahre Fund der Nofretete , held at the Ägyptische Museum und Papyrussamlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin 7 Dec 2012 -13 April 2013 in remembrance of James Simon and Ludwig Borchardt, we readapt page 423:

'Die Ruckgabeauseinandersetzungen und die Faszination um Nofretete von 1924 bis Heute.

Mit ihrer ersten öffentlichen Präsentation im Neuen Museum begannen auch die Rückbeförderungen zunächst von französischer und anschließend von ägyptischer Seite.

Im Jahr1858 hatte der Franzose Auguste Mariette den ‚'Services des Antiquités d'Egypte gegründet und das erste Museum für alt ägyptische Denkmaler in Kairo eigerichtet. Damit lagen die Aufsicht über die Grabungen, die Erteilung von Grabungslizenzen und die Fundteilung in Französischer Hand. (bis1952), während die politische Vormachtstellung in Ägypten seit 1882 Großbritannien innehatte.

Pierre Lacau war der entscheidende Protagonist der ersten Phase der Rückgabefoderung. Er war von 1914 bis 1936 Direktor der Altertümerverwaltung in Kairo und überwachte in dieser Funktion alle archäologischen Grabungen und Forschungen in Ägypten. Aufgrund der Gesetzlichen festgelegten Fundteilung konnte Lacau nur aus moralischen Grunden die Restitution der Büste verlangen, und er versuchte auf verschiedenen Wegen, die Ruckgaben zu erreichten. So erteilte er beispielsweise dem Berliner Museum Grabungsverbot in Ägypten, was jedoch nur zum Teil durchgesetzt wurde.

Der deutsch-französische Konflikt um die Rückgabe der Büste mundete in dem offiziellen Austauschangebot von französischer Seite. Die Büste der Nofretete

Sollte gegen zwei bemerkenswerte und einzigarte Objekte aus dem Kairener Museum getauscht werden: eine Statue des Ranofer aus dem Alten Reich und eine Schreiberfigur des Amenophis ,Sohn des Hapu ,aus dem Neuen Reich. Trotz dieses Angebotes und langer Verhandlungen verblieb die Büste in Berlin. Heinrich Schäfer, der den Austausch bewilligen wollte, scheiterte im Sommer 1930 an der Berliner Presse, die sich in einer Kampagne gegen den Tausch der Büste engagierte. Zahlreiche Berichte erschienen täglich in den Printmedien, so z.B. auch in deutschen Satirezeitungen wie dem Kladderradatsch, wo die Rückbeförderung der Nofretete in Karikaturen thematisiert wurde.

Im Herbst 1933 nahm der preußische Ministerpräsident Hermann Goring mit der ägyptischen Regierung unter King Fuad I. erneu Verhandlungen über eine Rückgabe der Büste auf, die jedoch vom Reichskanzler Adolf Hitler am 1933 abgelehnt wurde.

Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues: Nefertiti in the news ...

Hermann A. Schlögl, Nofretete Die Wahrheit über die schöne Königin, C. K. Beck, 2012, pp.15-16.

Carola Wedel writes in her book, Nofretete und das Geheimnis von Amarna Verlag Philipp von Zabern, Mainz, 2005, p.26:

'It was not until 1924 that Nefertiti was displayed for the first time in an exhibition in the Neun Museum Berlin. The demands by Egypt for restitution started from this date.'

'Erst 1924 war Nofretete dann zum ersten Mal in einer Ausstellung im Neun Museum Berlin ausgestellt. Die Rückbeförderungen aus Ägypten haben mit diesem Datum begonnen'

Bénédicte Savoy provides in her excellent book, Nofretete - Eine deutsch-französische Affäre, (Bohlau Verlag, Köln, Weimar, Wien, 2011) confirmation of the demands for restitution within the context of Franco-German rivalry.

One can only agree with the author that the restitution of Nefertiti is a case for which France, German and Britain, and the USA, must accept a common historical responsibility towards the Egyptian State. The Nefertiti affair demonstrates the necessity of a discussion on the position of Western museums with regard to the archaeological treasuries which in the 19th and early 20th centuries found their way into their collections. (p.13)

Bénédicte Savoy also throws doubt on the alleged trick by Borchardt and places the whole issue in the context of Franco-German rivalries exacerbated by personal ambitions of the administrators of antiquities in Egypt. This would corroborate suspicions of imperialist collaboration and tolerance of plunder of Egyptian national treasures by Europeans.

G.F.L. Stanglmeier, Der Fall Nofretete-Die Wahrheit über die Königin vom Nil.

Herbig Verlag, 2012 p.18, under the heading Zahi Hawass-Jager der (geklauten?) Büste writes:

‚'' In schöner Unregelmäßigkeit forderte seitdem die jeweilige ägyptische Regierung: Nofretete soll nach Hause. Besonders der heftig umstrittene Ex-Antikendirektor und ehemalige Minister für ägyptische Altertümer, Zahi Hawass, sorgte bei diesem Thema wiederkehrend für unfreundliche Schlagzeilen in den Medien. Fast im Zwei-Jahres-Rhythmus meldete er sich offiziell bei zuständigen, aber auch bei nicht zuständigen deutschen Politik-Instanzen und brachte die 'Painted Queen' ins Gespräche.'

7. Dietrich Wildung, Die vielen Gesichter der Nofretete, Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2013, p. 59 writes: 'Drei Jahre später, nun unter nationalsozialistischem Regime lebt der Plan des Tauschgeschäftes noch einmal auf. 1933 soll zum Jahrestag der Thronbesteigung von König Fuad die Rückkehr der Nofretete in Kairo offiziell verkündet werden. Im allerletzen Augenblick entscheidet der Reichskanzler Adolf Hitler, dass die 'bunte Königin' in Berlin bleibt.'

An article in Elginism contains the following on Hitler's infatuation with Nefertiti: ( Is Nefertiti now more German than Egyptian? - Elginism ..)

'But Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler had other plans. Through the ambassador to Egypt, Eberhard von Stohrer, Hitler informed the Egyptian government that he was an ardent fan of Nefertiti:

“I know this famous bust,” the fuehrer wrote. “I have viewed it and marvelled at it many times. Nefertiti continually delights me. The bust is a unique masterpiece, an ornament, a true treasure!”

Hitler said Nefertiti had a place in his dreams of rebuilding Berlin and renaming it Germania.

“Do you know what Im going to do one day? I'm going to build a new Egyptian museum in Berlin,” Hitler went on.

“I dream of it. Inside I will build a chamber, crowned by a large dome. In the middle, this wonder, Nefertiti, will be enthroned. I will never relinquish the head of the Queen.”

While he did not mention it at the time, Hitler envisioned more for the museum. There was to be an even larger hall of honour, with a bust of Nefertiti.'

See also Adolph Hitler's Strange Interest in Nefertiti (NOFRETETE)
The infatuation of Hitler with Nefertiti shows the opportunistic and exploitative sides of racism and oppression. Hitler, the Nazi racist, was not disturbed or inhibited from infatuation with an African woman brought from Egypt by a Jewish archaeologist in an excavation financed by a Jewis benefactor. Similar opportunism and exploitation prevail regarding the art and other property looted from victims of Nazism. If a law proclaims restitution, it takes more than half-a century to implement and in the meanwhile what happens to the enormous wealth seized and the victims of Nazism?

Racism under the apartheid system in South Africa (now quickly and conveniently forgotten by some) did not prevent the exploitation of African resources by the Afrikaner regime and its supporters. There was also no inhibition in using Africans as cooks, gardeners and babycarers

Racism in the United States has similarly not inhibited the exploiters from using African-American resources and personnel to look after their children and cook for the masters.

8. Egyptology News: Cool response from Berlin to Egypt's official Nefertiti ...

'Nefertiti Stays in Berlin!' Germany Confirms Once More - The ...

Egyptian and German Officials to Meet About Nefertiti Bust - The New ...

More on the dispute over Nefertiti bust - Elginism

Dispute with Egypt over Nefertiti bust reignites - The Local
Berlin Now: The City After the Wall –

Illicit Cultural Property: Egypt Makes Claim to Nefertiti

Judy Dempsey, Egypt Demands Return of Nefertiti Statue , The New York Times, October 19, 2009.

A 3,500-Year-Old Queen Causes a Rift Between Germany and Egypt ...

9. Para. 6.2 Return of Cultural Property
Museums should be prepared to initiate dialogues for the return of cultural property to a country or people of origin. This should be undertaken in an impartial manner, based on scientific, professional and humanitarian principles as well as applicable local, national and international legislation, in preference to action at a governmental or political level.

Para. 6.3 Restitution of Cultural Property
When a country or people of origin seeks the restitution of an object or specimen that can be demonstrated to have been exported or otherwise transferred in violation of the principles of international and national conventions, and shown to be part of that country's or people's cultural or natural heritage, the museum concerned should, if legally free to do so, take prompt and responsible steps to co-operate in its return.

Para. 6.4 Cultural Objects From an Occupied Country

Museums should abstain from purchasing or acquiring cultural objects from an occupied territory and respect fully all laws and conventions that regulate the import, export and transfer of cultural or natural materials.

10. Parzinger should really read writers such as Kurt G. Siehr on the question of legality of acquisition- 'The Beautiful one has come-to return', in John Henry Merryman, Imperialism, Art and Restitution, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2006, pp.114-134.

11.. Some of the German museums with large collections of Egyptian artefacts are listed below. We did not find any Egyptian museums with collections of German artefacts. The Ägyptisches Museum in Berlin alone has some 100,000 pieces.

Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, Berlin, http://www.smb.spk-berllin

Kestner Museum, Hannover
Roemer- und Pelizaeus-Museum, Hildesheim
Ägyptisches Museum, Leipzig
Staatliches Museum Ägyptischer Kunst, München

Museum Schloss Tübingen
Naturmuseum Senckenberg,
We leave out the many collections of Egyptian artefacts in European and American museums. See list of museums with Egyptian artefacts

12. “Andrerseits bliebe das Berliner Museum auch nach Abgabe der farbigen Nofretete - Büste an Fülle und künstlerischem Wert der Kunstwerke aus der Amarnazeit allen übrigen Sammlungen, einschließlich Kairo, überlegen. Und unter unserm Bestande gibt es so manches Stück, das künstlerisch von höherem Range ist als die elegante farbige Büste der Königin. ”

Open Letter from James Simon to the German Minister of Science, Art and Education, 28 June, 1930. Reproduced in, Gert von Paczensky and HerbertGanslymayr, Nofretete will nach Hause: Europa – Schatzhaus der „Dritten Welt “, C. Bertelsmann, 1984 pp. 304-30. length of time. The "most famous Berlin lady" is a LLL the public and the subject of an unresolved dispute. The Egyptian side has protested, threatened, offered other significant cultural assets in exchange and made their most important cultural assets available for exhibitions in Germany. But nothing has been achieved: For the last 95 years Berlin, has been insisting that the ownership is legally perfectly clear and pointing out that 'Nefertiti' has long become an integral part of our cultural identity which we are not prepared to.