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Famed Nefertiti bust 'A FAKE' : Expert - UPDATES

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« on: May 21, 2009, 02:29:05 pm »

In a recently published book, Stierlin claims that Berlin's famous Nefertiti bust -- one of the prides of the city's world-class collection of museums -- is actually a fake. Stierlin claims that Ludwig Borchardt, the leader of the excavation that found Nefertiti, had the sculptor Gerhard Marcks make the bust in 1912 to serve as a display piece for a necklace that had recently been unearthed. "Until then, one could only see Nefertiti as she was depicted on bas reliefs," Stierlin told SPIEGEL ONLINE. "Borchardt wanted to see her in three dimensions."

Stierlin's theory sounds exciting -- and it has proven adept at generating headlines. He says that when Johann Georg, a Saxon duke, visited the tomb in the Egyptian city of Amarna, they were immediately taken by the beauty of the bust. Borchardt, rather than exposing the naiveté of his royal guests, elected to keep the truth to himself.

Art historians have their doubts about this theory. "As to whether Nefertiti is a fake, I can't say for sure," says Ari Hartog, the curator of the Gerhard Marcks Haus, an art museum in Bremen devoted to the works of the famous 20th century German sculptor. Stierlin's theory has been lent credence by the fact that Borchardt's expedition included someone named Marcks. Hartog, though, says it was most likely the artist's brother. If the Nefertiti bust is indeed fake, says Hartog, "it's definitely not something made by Marcks."
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