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Queen Nefertiti Bust

Queen Nefertiti Bust

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A bust of Egyptian queen Nefertiti (c. 1370 - c.1336 BCE), the wife of the pharaoh Akhenaten of the 18th Dynasty of Egypt. By the sculptor Thutmose and re-discovered in 1912 CE. (Neues Museum, Berlin)

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The Nefertiti affair: the history of a repatriation debate

Anglo-French rivalry, a touch of Germanophobia, two world wars and a flawless artefact. This is the background of what became known as the Nefertiti Affair.

Even if you have never set foot in Egypt or you’re not sure why Nefertiti’s name rings a bell, you’ve probably seen her face somewhere. With the golden mask of Tutankhamun, the bust of Queen Nefertiti, now displayed in the Neues Museum in Berlin, is one of the best known pieces of Egyptian art. It was discovered in 1912 in Tell el-Amarna by German archaeologist Ludwig Borchardt, of the Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft, and has never ceased to fascinate since 1923, when it was displayed for the first time.

In December 1918, the London-based Egypt Exploration Fund (EEF, now the Egypt Exploration Society) expressed an interest in excavating at Tell el-Amarna, the capital of Pharaoh Akhenaten (best known for having tried to impose a quasi-monotheistic cult of the sun) and his wife Nefertiti (FO 141/589).

Pierre Lacau, the (French) Director of the Egyptian Antiquities Department, initially wanted to keep the site (FO 141/589). In March 1919, he acknowledged that the Department was overworked and stated he was prepared to grant a concession to excavate. However, he explained, the site was of great archaeological importance (bear in mind he didn’t know about Nefertiti!), and the antiquities discovered there should really not be scattered. In 1912, he said, the Germans had discovered a sculptor’s workshop abiding by the terms of the concession which granted the excavators half the objects discovered, the Antiquities Department had to divide the objects equally while they should have been considered as a whole. He added:

‘in that respect, we have nothing specific to blame the Germans for: they have used the right the Government had generously granted them at its own expense.’ (FO 371/3724)

Lacau’s note, 12 March 1919 (catalogue reference: FO 371/3724)

Lacau also explained that he had already received excellent applications for Tell el-Amarna and that he wasn’t sure why the EEF should have precedence. Either way, Lacau continued, he wanted to make sure the concession would be granted to a ‘disinterested scholar’ who would put the advancement of science before the rather vulgar issue of compensation. He therefore had two absolute preconditions. There would be no 50:50 division of the objects (excavators would only receive what the Department wouldn’t want to keep), and the discoveries couldn’t be given away to private collectors nor scattered amongst different museums. He also asked all applicants to submit a detailed programme of work (FO 371/3724).

In April, Paul Cambon, the French Ambassador to London, wrote to the Foreign Office to support Lacau’s conditions. The old spectre of Anglo-French rivalry raised its ugly head again. ‘If we write to the French ambassador’, the Egyptian Department commented, ‘we ought to point out that this is no concern of his’ (FO 371/3724).

Foreign Office minute, 16 May 1919 (catalogue reference: FO 371/3724)

The Committee of the EEF then sent a memorandum, explaining why they found themselves ‘in disagreement with Monsieur Lacau’s view in several respects’. They made scathing comments on the Antiquities Department (understaffed) and the Cairo Museum (overstocked), and claimed that Britain’s position in Egypt entitled them to ‘a certain prior right (primus inter pares) as regards opportunities of archaeological work in Egypt’ (FO 371/3724).

In October 1919, they sent another memorandum, highlighting some of the points previously made, and claiming plaintively that obtaining a fair share of objects and distributing them was ‘essential to the very existence of the Egypt Exploration Fund’. People could be very generous, they said, but they wanted to see what they had paid for.

Ernest Thomas, of the Egyptian Ministry of Finance, wasn’t impressed. Describing the text as a ‘plea ad misericordiam’, he stated bluntly:

‘the plain dispassionate answer to the points put forward is that if an institution is not supported it ceases to supply a need and should be allowed to die, obeying a law of nature.’ (FO 141/589)

Egypt Exploration Fund’s memorandum of October 1919 and Ernest Thomas’ note of January 1920 (catalogue reference: FO 141/589)

In May 1920, Lacau informed the EEF that George Reisner, of Harvard, had accepted his conditions but that he would rather grant them the concession, provided they accepted the same terms. Under strong political pressure, he even compromised, renouncing to demand that the objects shouldn’t be scattered. The concession was finally granted on 15 June 1920 (FO 141/589).

Excavation permit granted to the Egypt Exploration Fund, 15 June 1920 (catalogue reference: FO 141/589)

Thomas, who had decidedly very little time for the EEF, immediately commented:

‘it is regrettable in the interest of science that the E. E. Fund should have been accorded the concession when a highly qualified and experienced archaeologist was willing to do the work (and it is unlikely that the E.E. Fund can do it as well as he) on M. Lacau’s terms.’ (FO 141/589)

I’m sure you’ll be reassured to know that the EEF did an excellent job.

A month later, Ludwig Borchardt, who was painfully aware of the potential of the site, complained bitterly (and somewhat whiningly) to James Quibell, curator at the Cairo Museum. He was already fighting to get the German Institute in Cairo back, he wrote, and found it very trying. He added:

‘And now I have received yet another piece of bad news, which you can read about in the enclosed article from the Times. The Egypt Exploration Fund has been given our excavation site of Tell el-Amarna, and therefore shattered our hopes of conducting further work there.’ (FO 141/589)

Borchardt to Quibell, 22 July 1920 (catalogue reference: FO 141/589)

In 1919, Lacau, who had spent the war in the trenches and was stridently anti-German, had claimed that, as far as Tell el-Amarna was concerned, he had ‘nothing specific to blame the Germans for’. This changed dramatically when the bust of Nefertiti was revealed to the world in 1923. Lacau kicked off a campaign to get it back, which is still going on. He went as far as banning German archaeologists from excavating in Egypt.

In June 1927, Nevile Henderson, the acting High Commissioner, reported that the German Minister in Cairo was under ‘unofficial’ pressure to return Nefertiti to Egypt. He feared it might be a ‘test case’, and that the Egyptian government would soon try to recover artefacts from other museums.

The Foreign Office turned to the British Museum for advice. Sir Frederic Kenyon’s reply was rather blunt. He was against the restitution of Nefertiti unless it could be proved the Germans had been deceitful at the time. He reported a rumour was circulating in egyptological circles, according to which the head had been covered in mud and passed through inspection as an object of minor interest. He added that it was the Antiquities Department’s problem, and concluded:

‘it is true that such an allocation is only explicable on the ground of gross favouritism, incompetence or corruption on the part of their staff but that is their affair, and they must take the consequences.’ (FO 371/12388)

Kenyon to Murray, 19 July 1927 (catalogue reference: FO 371/12388)

At the beginning of December 1927, The Evening News’ Cairo correspondent reported that the issue would be submitted to arbitration. The Foreign Office felt it would set a precedent and commented, somewhat dramatically: ‘the Rosetta Stone and the Elgin Marbles are in danger!’ (FO 371/12388). The Reichstag rejected the idea at the end of January 1928 (FO 141/440).

The issue was raised again in 1929, when King Fuad of Egypt went on an official visit to Germany. Despite raging debates in the press, Nefertiti wasn’t mentioned during the visit (FO 371/13878).

On 9 April 1930, the Sunday Times reported that the Cairo Museum had ‘made offers for an exchange which, if officially confirmed, would probably be regarded by Berlin as acceptable’, especially as Egypt would also lift the ban on German excavations. Kenyon thought Berlin may well accept the deal. The objects offered were of great archaeological importance and museum curators, ‘suspicious of the charms of mere prettiness’, would probably find them appealing. Stephen Gaselee, the Foreign Office Librarian, was horrified:

‘How could anyone, even the most dry-as-dust museum curator, be willing to part with the Nefertiti bust in exchange for all that the Egyptians now offer? I confess for a consuming passion for this lady, fairest of all the daughters of Eve, and I can imagine no consideration which would induce me to exchange her away.’ (FO 371/14647)

Gaselee’s minute, 22 April 1930 (catalogue reference: FO 371/14647)

The case was raised again after the Second World War. During the war, Nefertiti was removed to the Berlin zoo, along with other artefacts from the Museum. In 1945, it was transferred to a salt mine in Thuringia, where it was eventually found by the Americans in April, and transferred to their repository in Wiesbaden (FO 371/53375).

In May 1946, the Egyptian ambassador wrote to the Foreign Office. Forwarding a note the Egyptian Government had sent to the Allied Control Commission in Germany, he asked for support in order to get Nefertiti back. The note recalled the almost successful negotiations that had occurred during the King’s visit in 1929 and that it was a well-known fact that ‘when Hitler came to power, he stated that the bust of Nefertiti would never return to Egypt because, as it is affirmed, “he was in love with it”’. Now that Hitler had been defeated, the note continued, there was ‘no obstacle to putting an end to a spoliation based on fraud and maintained by force’ (FO 371/53375).

Note by the Egyptian Government, 14 April 1946 (catalogue reference: FO 371/53375)

The Foreign Office explained that they couldn’t do anything as the bust had been discovered by the Americans, who felt Nefertiti was ‘in safe custody and at the present time (…) regarded as part of the cultural heritage of the world, located in Germany’ (FO 1057/273). The Allied Control Authority finally replied in December 1946 that restitutions could only be carried out in the case of objects which had been looted during the war. This didn’t apply to Nefertiti and the Egyptian government should therefore wait for the reestablishment of a German government (FO 371/63051).

The Allied Control Authority’s reply to the Egyptian Government, 14 December 1946 (catalogue reference: FO 371/63051)

“Replica” of the bust of Nefertit, Samalut, Egypt (image: Wikimedia Commons)

The Nefertiti affair is still ongoing and is an everlasting debate. What is not debatable is that Nefertiti, whose name means ‘the beautiful one has come’, is an iconic symbol of Egyptian cultural heritage and ancient and modern standards of beauty. So much so that when a rather unfortunate (truly hideous, actually) ‘replica’ of the bust was unveiled at the entrance of the city of Samalut, the people rebelled and forced the local authorities to take it down.

‘You cannot describe it with words, you must see it’, Borchardt wrote in his diary. He was right. Nefertiti returned to West Berlin in 1956, and has since then kept smiling her enigmatic smile (much more bewitching than Mona Lisa’s, if you were wondering). The Assistant Oriental Secretary put it more underwhelmingly in 1927, but he was right too – it is ‘a lovely thing’ (FO 141/440).

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

BERLIN — Culture lovers reveled in the reopening of the Neues Museum in the heart of Berlin on Friday, the culmination of decades of efforts to renovate the site, which was destroyed during World War II.

But the celebrations have been marred by a growing dispute between the German and Egyptian governments over the star of the show: the 3,500-year-old limestone-and-stucco bust of Queen Nefertiti, a wife of Pharaoh Akhenaten.

Nefertiti has been in Germany since 1913. But now Egypt is demanding that the fragile object, perched alone in a domed room that overlooks the length of the museum, be returned home.

Zahi Hawass, general secretary of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, told German newspapers over the past few days that Nefertiti belonged to Egypt.

In interviews with Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger and Spiegel Online, Mr. Hawass said an official investigation had been started into how Nefertiti arrived in Germany. “If she left Egypt illegally, which I am convinced she did, then I will officially demand it back from Germany,” he said.

German art experts deny that Nefertiti was taken out of Egypt illegally.

Mr. Hawass made his comments just weeks after Egypt’s culture minister, Farouk Hosny, complained over his failure to win election as the new director of the United Nations culture agency, Unesco, based in Paris.

Once considered a front-runner, Mr. Hosny stirred controversy because of remarks made in 2008, when he told the Egyptian Parliament that he would burn Israeli books if he found them in a library in Egypt.

Even though he distanced himself from those remarks, the United States, France and others fought his appointment.

A German Foreign Ministry official said there was “no connection between the Egyptian request to have Nefertiti returned and the outcome of the Unesco vote.” The official, who requested anonymity according to diplomatic protocol, would not say how Germany voted.

Days after Mr. Hosny’s defeat, Mr. Hawass accused France of stealing antiquities — including five painted wall fragments dating from the Pharaohs that ended up in the Louvre in 2000 and 2003 — and insisted that they be returned.

After Egypt threatened to suspend cooperation for exhibitions organized with the Louvre as well as any work done by the Louvre on the pharaonic necropolis of Saqqara, south of Cairo, France’s culture minister said his country was ready to return the antiquities if they were stolen.

In the case of Nefertiti, Mr. Hawass said that Egyptian officials may have been misled over how the bust had been taken to Germany in 1913, but several German art experts disagreed.

“There was a complete understanding about what would remain in Egypt and what would be taken to Germany,” said Monika Grütters, an art historian and cultural expert in the Christian Democratic Union, the party of Chancellor Angela Merkel. She added, “The process was legal.”

According to Der Spiegel, a document written in 1924 that was found in the archives of the German Oriental Company recounted a meeting in 1913 between a senior Egyptian official and the German archaeologist Ludwig Borchardt, who found the bust during a dig in 1912.

The secretary of the German Oriental Company, who was present at the meeting, said it had been called to divide up the spoils of the dig between Germany and Egypt. He claimed that Mr. Borchardt “wanted to save the bust for us.”

History of Western Art, Architecture, and Design

I think that this bust of Queen Nefertiti can be considered a portrait because her facial expression and cannon of proportions look naturalistic. Her eyes, nose, mouth and ears seem to have the right proportions as well as her facial structure like her high cheekbones. However, she has the female physique of an elongated neck which indicates that the sculptor wanted her to look ideal too. Therefore I think that this portrait head is a combination of an individual and ideal type.

nice observation about the proportionality of Nerfertiti's features -- it is surely one of the reasons why the bust remains so appealing to our aesthetic sensibilities today

The lines around the mouth and under the eyes give the bust personality and character. These details suggest that the work is a portrait as the lines add expression to the face. However, the symmetry of the face (at least from the front) makes the bust appear less individual and more idealized.

absolutely -- there is quite a bit of detail to her face that conveys the sense of individual character

Oooo! I just saw Queen Nefertiti while I was traveling with my family in Berlin! I remember it was awe inspiring to behold an ancient artifact from nearly 3,300 years ago. Nefertiti is beautiful, and was a huge icon of her time. I wonder if she is portrayed too beautifully-to the point of idealization- or if her fame was simply a product of her true appearance. I am beginning to think this sculpture is a realistic portrayal with a few artistic revisions on behalf of the sculptor. Although she undoubtably resembles 'Nefertiti' as other artists had portrayed her, there is striking symmetry between both halves of her facade suggesting the sculptor perfected her features as a symbol of balance and beauty.

this is a thoughtful comment and mirrors what we discussed in class about the balance between individuality and idealization in the bust -- there is definitely a bit of both!

The identity of being a Queen suggests both the individual and the ideal. The attention to detail, seen through how subtle Nefertiti's features are crafted, capture her individual beauty. At the same time the smoothness of her skin and the symmetry of her features suggest a divine beauty.

On another note, the gaze of the bust is really interesting. It is highly naturalistic, and stares directly at the viewer. I wonder where a bust like this would have been displayed, if displayed at all. People could have the opportunity to catch a glimpse of their monarch at a rather intimate level.

yes, the eyes strongly convey a sense of liveliness and engagement with the viewer! as we discussed, this was a studio model not a finished work, but it would have served as an example for official likenesses of the queen erected elsewhere

I think that the Bust of Queen Nefertiti can be considered both as a representation of an individual and ideal. The naturalistic details and facial expressions make this work a portrait. The Queen is portrayed very realistically and her proportions look naturalistic unlike that of the Woman of Willendorf that we studied earlier. There are also some features of this sculpture that make it seems idealized, such as the elongated neck and emaciated cheeks. These features were probably part of the ideals of that time period. Also, the face is completely symmetrical and precise which adds to the beauty of the sculpture. The portrait seems to be too perfect. It is breathtaking just by looking at it through a photograph. Therefore, I think the Bust of Queen Nefertiti combines an individual and an ideal type.

good observation about the cheekbones as well, in addition to the long neck!

I think that while the Bust of Queen Nefertiti might be of an individual, it is an idealized version of that individual. She has a symmetrical face, smooth skin, and clean edged, full eyebrows. On top of that, her chin is up and her expression is calm and suggesting she is in control. I think the bust is meant to display the queen's confidence and power to those beneath her.

absolutely, we discussed other Egyptian portraits in class that also show this raised chin and upward gaze as indicative both of power and control over the worldly domain, and humility in relation to the divine

The statues holds both idealistic and individualistic characters as although the queen contains its own character through its naturalistic depictions, the attributes such as the high cheek bone, perfect symmetry makes the statue seem too perfect. Queen Nerfeti also has this staunched disposition because of its closed mouth, and chin up position. This is fitting as she does hold the title of queen.

the closed mouth is indeed interesting, as we will see that something dramatic happens in sculpture and painting -- during later periods of Western Art -- when figures begin to be depicted with open mouths as if actually speaking!

In my opinion, the defining aspect that makes this work a portrait is the amount of attention to detail the sculptor dedicated to Nefertiti's left eye. When the left part of the face is covered, the statue immediately becomes a mere physical representation of Nerfetiti. But with the right side of the face covered, the statue immediately becomes life-like. The details the sculptor paid to the statue is furthermore visible in Nerfetiti's clear jawline, as well as the tendons emerging from her neck its almost as if she were still breathing. One can only imagine how much more the bust would show if both of her eyes were complete.

indeed, the incomplete eye is interesting because it shows us the process of production underlying this sculpture, but it also reveals how important the eyes are in making a figure come to life

I also was able to see the bust in Berlin! I had read a book about Amenhotep/Akhenaten before I went and I remember that the art commissioned by Akhenaten and Nefertiti in a time known as the Amarna period was very different from the more traditional Egyptian style because it had a new vision of what it meant to be "ideal." The Amarna period focused on elongated necks and very defined facial features. While this sculpture may have captured certain characteristics of Queen Nefertiti, certain aspects of her portrayal were likely altered to suit the Amarna style.

absolutely, the Amarna period -- as we discussed in lecture and is mentioned in your reading from Janson -- had a very singular stylistic mode that distinguished it from earlier periods in Egyptian art

It's more likely to be a portrait than an ideal type. The bust contains so many details and it just looks beautiful comparing with the Venus of Willendorf. The Willendorf looks more like a symbol for fertility. In contrary, artists tends to make a wonderful piece for ruling class and a specific person. Thus, an artwork with careful details should likely be a portrait.

yes, good comparison to the Woman of Willendorf! This bust is very clearly a portrait, even if there is a degree of stylistic idealizing involved

The portrait head of Queen Nefertiti is, in my opinion, the queen as both an individual and as an ideal. Previous sculptures of women have always been of what men expect and desire of a woman. They have been of a woman's body, which stress the importance of fertility and the idea that a woman is a reproductive object. Contrary to these, this sculpture highlights the queen's individual features. The artist captures her beauty and calls attention to her distinctive features and facial structure. The sculptures of women in the past have typically avoided defining facial features or have forgone portraying them at all. However, though we see the queen's individual beauty and regal facade, her beauty is "divine" as Amelia had put it. The symmetry in her face and the fact that it is free of fault makes her an "ideal" figure.

I appreciate you reading the comments of your fellow students and referring back to them! That is how this blog should work! Yes, the idealization of her features does very much give Nerfertiti a divine status that as we discussed, was an increasing part of the Egyptian representation of rulers

The incomplete qualities of the portrait of Queen Nefertiti reflects its nature as an individual representation rather than as an ideal representation. If this bust were to be an ideal representation, the artist would have completed the piece in its entirety to show the flawless characterizations of the ideal. Additionally, the unique details on the collar and through the headdress are representative of an individual's preferences and not the overarching theme of perfection.

the incompleteness of the bust has to do with its function as a workshop model rather than a finished work (see my comments above)!

The portrait bust of Queen Nefertiti is an idealized portrait. The individualized features of the queen's face are likely her own, but they have been dramatized and improved to reflect an in-human quality of beauty. Sculptures we saw of human before such as the Woman of Willendorf lacked individualization. The Woman of Willendorf had no face by which we can identify her and the focus of that tiny sculpture was her reproductive parts rather than the parts of her that identified her as a distinct individual such as her facial features. In this bust, it is likely that the queen's dark almond shaped eyes, sloped nose, large lips and general facial structure are her own. Yet, every one of her features has been exaggerated to some degree in this clearly flattering portrait. All of her features are in perfect proportion -- her eyes are perfectly almond shaped, her lips are plump, and her skin has the appearance of an incredibly smooth, buttery olive surface. In addition, her unusually long and slender neck is likely a reflection of an Egyptian standard of beauty that valued this appearance. The portrait bust was likely done by an artist who not only sculpted the bust from life but possibly was even commissioned by the Queen or her court to do this work of art and therefore was trying to please her with his representation.

This is a lovely passage of visual analysis, great observation of detail!

Truthfully, throughout time, most anyone who was rich enough to commission portraits and busts of themselves were also high enough in rank and affluent enough to have "touch ups," in a sense. Royalty, in an effort to further elevate themselves above their subjects, are portrayed with otherworldly beauty and without the inherent physical flaws they may possess. Nefertiti was known for her beauty, but because Egyptian royalty were associated with the Egyptian pantheon, she is given an air of power, control, and this added perfect, symmetrical beauty to further distinguish herself as the elite and thus one to be revered.

very true! we will more examples of portraiture that walks the line between naturalistic and idealizing as the semester progresses!

Sun queen

The bust is said to portray the wife of the Sun King Akhenaten, with whom she is believed to have ruled Egypt between 1353 and 1336BC. It is thought to have been uncovered in the desert by the archaeologist Ludwig Borchardt in 1912. During the Nazi years, Luftwaffe chief Hermann Goering planned to give it back to Egypt, but Adolf Hitler said the bust would have pride of place in a museum for Germania, the expanded Berlin that was due to be the capital of his Thousand Year Reich. Nefertiti means "beautiful woman has arrived".

Is the Nefertiti Bust Real or Fake?

Nefertiti the Great Royal Wife of Pharaoh Akhenaten. Her bust is iconic, her image, along with King Tut’s golden mask, is what most people visualize when they think of ancient Egypt. The bust is one of the most copied works of ancient Egypt. She was born in 1370 BC and her name, Egyptian Nfr.t-jy.tj, can be translated as “The Beautiful Woman has Come”. One look at her bust and you can say that name absolutely fits.

A German archaeological team led by German archaeologist Ludwig Borchardt discovered the bust on December 6, 1912, in Thutmose’s workshop. It was found in what had been the workshop of the sculptor Thutmose, along with other unfinished busts of Nefertiti.

It has been kept in Germany since its discovery. Over the decades Germany has rejected repeated requests from Egypt for her return. It has also been the subject of an intense argument between Egypt and Germany over Egyptian demands for its repatriation, which began in 1924 once the bust was first displayed to the public. Egyptian inspectors were not shown the actual bust before they let it out of the country.

The bust of Nefertiti is believed to have been crafted about 1345 BC by the sculptor Thutmose. The bust does not have any inscriptions but can be certainly identified as Nefertiti by the characteristic crown, which she wears in other surviving (and clearly labeled) depictions.

Her elegant and chiseled features held proud and high on a swanlike neck, she has been smiling serenely for 3,400 years. At least that has long been the popular and scientific belief that draws half a million tourists to see her in Berlin every year. But now doubt has been thrown on the authenticity of the painted limestone and plaster bust of the 18th dynasty Egyptian queen Nefertiti by author Henri Steirlin, who claims she is a fake.

His book, Le Buste de Nefertiti – une Imposture de l’Egyptologie? (The Bust of Nefertiti – an Egyptology Fraud?), came out in 2009 and everyone was quick to discredit him. However, Henri Steirlin wasn’t the only one who thought it was a fake. Berlin author and historian Erdogan Ercivan wrote his own book, called Missing Link in Archaeology, where he too claimed that the bust was a modern fake.

The German authorities4 dismissed the claims as a publicity stunt since radiological tests, detailed computer tomography and material analysis have proved its authenticity. The pigments used on the bust have been matched to those used by ancient Egyptian artisans.

Stierlin has said the stunning work that will later this year be the showpiece of the city’s reborn Neues Museum was created by an artist commissioned by Ludwig Borchardt, the German archaeologist credited with digging Nefertiti out of the sands of the ancient settlement of Amarna, 90 miles south of Cairo, in 1912.

But in 2014 the Smithsonian Channel shocked the world with their own part of the story. They spoke to a convicted forger, who says he’s sure it’s a fake.

“The damage is selective, and that’s a dead ringer for a fake,” forger Shaun Greenhalgh says.

Here are some of the arguments from one of the commentators, against the authenticity of the Nefertiti bust.

Blacks Go Wild When TV Show Reveals “Whitewashed” Bust of Queen Nefertiti

This is a time when all of us celebrate the phenomenal achievements of the African race, which include – but are definitely not limited to – peanut butter, Super Soakers and the role of Morpheus in The Matrix.

Unfortunately, not everyone is as supportive of Black History Month as the staff at the Daily Stormer.

It looks as though a bunch of closeted Trump supporters on NBC’s Today Show recently decided to whip the feelings of blacks by revealing that Queen Nefertiti, the famous ruler of ancient Egypt, was…

Well…. maybe not entirely white…

During yesterday’s TODAY Show, a reconstruction of Queen Nefertiti decked in her traditional royal regalia was revealed. A team of historians, artists and other professionals, led by Expedition Unknown’s Josh Gates, painstakingly worked on the portrait bust in order to ensure its accuracy. However, the final product has left many people dumbfounded with one very peculiar choice the colour of Nefertiti’s skin.

Queen Nefertiti was once the queen of Egypt, and mother to the legendary King Tut. She would have had a noticeably dark skin tone similar to residents of the African empire. In the reconstruction, Nefertiti appears to be slightly sun-kissed, and is rendered with an uncharacteristically rosy pout.

The general consensus when describing the physical appearance of an Egyptian queen would be that she would have had brown skin that did not look like a tan acquired on a vacation in the tropics.

After the bust’s grand reveal, people took to Twitter to express their outrage or utter confusion at what they had just seen.

How dare y'all @TODAYshow reveal that whitewashed Nefertiti that's not my queen y'all bugging it's #Queen #BHM

&mdash the deity Neith (@thedeityneith) February 7, 2018

I’m not an expert on ancient history, but I’m pretty sure that even my 8-year-old dog, who still hasn’t figured out that the reflection in the mirror is actually him, knows that the rulers of ancient Egypt weren’t moon crickets from darkest Africa.

Even if you overlook the fact that all reliable historical depictions of Queen Nefertiti exhibit light skin and Caucasoid features, we still have Occam’s Razor to contend with: would a low IQ race that never invented the wheel have ruled over the most advanced and prosperous kingdom on the continent?

Or would they have been the servants of whites and higher-caste Arabs, used for menial labor and other unpleasant tasks?

Nonetheless, we shouldn’t discourage blacks from believing that they wuz queenz ‘n’ kangz. This year’s aggressive surge in black revisionism, coupled with the hype for the upcoming Black Panther movie, has really caused #Blaxit to take off on social media.

And if there’s one thing that we White Supremacists should be promoting on social media with our black Twitter accounts, it’s Blaxit.

Clues in a Game of Thrones

The list of ancient Egyptian kings, as we know it today, is a work in progress—a compilation made by modern scholars and based on found fragments. Nefertiti’s tomb could hold clues that will help Egyptologists understand a royal succession that's still unclear.

Here's what they've been able to piece together from Nefertiti’s time:

Early in the 14th century B.C., at the height of the 18th dynasty, a powerful pharaoh named Amenhotep III ruled Egypt for more than four decades. When he died, his son and heir, Amenhotep IV, took the throne. But something caused the new pharaoh to break with tradition in ways that were shocking.

He smashed the temples and statues of a popular god named Amun and began to worship a god named Aten, represented by a sun disk. He moved his capital to a new location in the western desert, a place called Akhetaten, meaning "Horizon of the Aten." He changed his name from Amenhotep, or "Amun is Pleased," to Akhenaten, "He Who is of Service to Aten." And he revolutionized the country's art, launching a realistic style that depicted him with a flabby beer belly rather than the usual idealized six-pack abs of a young and virile pharaoh.

Nefertiti—"The Beautiful One Has Come"—was Akhenaten's principal wife. She's most famously known from a stunning painted limestone bust that was found in a sculptor's workshop in the ruins of Akhetaten in 1912.

There's no record of Nefertiti and Akhenaten producing a son. But they had six daughters, and we know their names: Meritaten, Meketaten, Ankhesenpaaten, Neferneferuaten Tasherit, Neferneferure, and Setepenre. Like every pharaoh, Akhenaten had more than one wife. One of the minor consorts may have been the mother of the future King Tut, whose original name was Tutankhaten—"Living Image of the Aten."

Who Is This? 'TODAY Show' Reveals A Reconstructed Bust Of Queen Nefertiti Resembling A White Woman

While we're celebrating Black History Month, the TODAY show on Monday aired a segment that revealed Queen Nefertiti. resembling a white woman.

Josh Gates, from the TV Show &ldquoExpedition Unknown,&rdquo appeared on the segment to reveal a reconstructed bust that he and his team made through high-tech imaging from exclusive access they had to the remains of Queen Nefertiti, King Tut's mother and a powerful Egyptian Pharoah, to make a forensic reconstruction.

Sadly, upon Gates' reveal, there were a few glaring issues: Queen Nefertiti was presented with porcelain skin and pink lips.

Comedian and writer Awesomely Luvvie referred to the sculpture as "White Lady Gaga," which sounds about accurate because when the TODAY show revealed the caucasian version of Queen Nefertiti our response was:

Meanwhile, users on Twitter had similar reactions:

The TODAY Show's misrepresentation and utter disregard for black historical truth exemplifies why we must be voracious in narrating our own stories.

Egyptians lambast 'ugly' new Nefertiti statue

Queen Nefertiti ruled Egypt alongside her husband in the 14th century BCE, and her beauty is legendary - her name in fact translates as "a beautiful woman has arrived." Our modern picture of the ancient queen has been largely shaped by a bust unearthed in 1912 which currently sits in a museum in Berlin - its ownership is the subject of frequent debate between Egypt and Germany.

To Egyptians, Nefertiti remains a proud symbol of their country's impressive history and beauty. So when the authorities wanted to commission a statue at the entrance of the city of Samalut, they thought of the ancient queen.

Unfortunately, the replica that resulted bore so little resemblance to the legendary beauty that many began to despair for the state of Egyptian art. In simple terms, it was just plain ugly.

"This is an insult to Nefertiti and to every Egyptian," tweeted one Egyptian woman. Another wrote: "It should be named 'ugly tasteless artless statue'. not Nefertiti."

Many Egyptians feeling offended by the failed attempt to replicate the iconic bust directed their anger at the sculptors: "If you don't know how to make statues don't go and do something so unfair to the beautiful Nefertiti," tweeted one man. "Not only are you distorting the present but also the past. I ask that the original bust not be returned from Germany, at least there she's got her dignity," another wrote.

Thousands of other Egyptians are using the hashtag "Nefertiti" in Arabic, comparing the replica to the original bust, often using sarcastic captions:

A number of people even compared the statue to Frankenstein's monster:

The massive bust has now been removed following the public outcry and will be replaced with a statue of a peace dove, according to local media reports. ‏

A tweet from an account run by the Football Association was quickly deleted on Monday after immediately running into controversy - although the organisation behind England's national football team says the message was taken out of context. READ MORE

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Watch the video: Προτομή της Νεφερτίτης. Bust of Nefertiti Time Lapse. 3d printed by WITBOX. B3D. Korydallos (December 2021).