The Ancient Historian

Ancient history, mountaineering, cycling and other outside adventures

Berlin Nefertiti a fake !?

You don’t hear that everyday of the week. Agence France-Presse, in a wire dated 5 May, is reporting that the art historian Henri Stierlin is making the claim in a newly released study. I append here an extract of the Agence France-Presse article:
Swiss art historian Henri Stierlin, author of a dozen works on Egypt, the Middle East and ancient Islam, says in a just-released book that the bust currently in Berlin’s Altes Museum was made on the orders of Germany archaeologist Ludwig Borchardt on site at the digs by an artist named Gerardt Marks.

“It seems increasingly improbable that the bust is an original,” Mr Stierlin said.

He said he believed it was made to test pigments used by the ancient Egyptians.

The historian said the archaeologist had hoped to produce a new portrait of the queen wearing a necklace he knew she had owned and also carry out a colour test with ancient pigments found at the digs.

The Nefertiti bust (my own recent photo of it below), one of the most famous images of ancient Egypt and an icon of Egyptology, is scheduled to have its own room in the renovated Neues Museum in Berlin when it opens in October.

Could be that the Egyptian authorities may not be quick in demanding her back now. I am also guessing there will be a flurry of opinions about this…….stay tuned



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