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Famed Nefertiti bust 'A FAKE' : Expert - UPDATES

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Author Topic: Famed Nefertiti bust 'A FAKE' : Expert - UPDATES  (Read 2342 times)
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« on: May 14, 2009, 09:06:04 am »

                                      Swiss art historian claims Nefertiti bust a fake

                                  Egypt's antiquities head says statements nonsensical

(, Agencies)
May 9, 2009

One of history's most famous archaeological finds may just be a fake, claims one art historian.
The world renowned bust of Egyptian Queen Nefertiti, believed to be 3,400 years old, is at the
center of contentious debate on whether the famed artifact is genuine or just a forgery.

Housed in a Berlin museum, the iconic bust is one of the most copied works of ancient Egypt but its legitimacy has been put into question by Swiss art historian, Henri Stierlin, who claims that the bust
is just a copy dating from 1912.

Stierlin says an archaeologist at the time had hoped to produce a new portrait of the queen wearing
a necklace he knew she had owned, and was also looking to carry out a color test with ancient pigments found at the digs.

"It seems increasingly improbable that the bust is an original," Stierlin told AFP.

Bust in Germany: "fake"

The startling claim stroked already tense relations between Egypt and Germany, the former having already made requests for the immediate return of the artifact since it went on display in 1923.

The colorful bust depicts a stunning woman believed to be Nefertiti - wearing a unique cone-shaped headdress. Stierlin, author of a dozen works on Egypt, the Middle East and ancient Islam, says the bust currently in Berlin's Altes Museum was made at the order of German archaeologist Ludwig Borchardt by an artist named Gerardt Marks.

On Dec. 6, 1912, the copy was admired as an original work by a German prince and Borchardt "couldn't sum up the courage to ridicule" his guest, Stierlin said.

He claimed it was impossible to scientifically establish the date of the bust because it was made of stone covered in plaster. The historian, who has been working on the subject for 25 years, said he based his findings on several facts. 
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