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Egypt asks second German museum for statue loan

Following the requests for the return of the bust of Nefertiti [1], Egypt is now asking for another loan from the Roman and Pelizaeus Museum in Hildesheim.

EUX.TV (Netherlands) [2]

Friday, May 04, 2007 at 17:06
Subject: /Germany-Culture/Egypt/
Egypt asks second German museum for loan of statue

Hildesheim, Germany (dpa) – Weeks after a spat over the bust of Queen Nefertiti, Egypt has asked a provincial German antiquities museum for the loan of a second Pharaonic statue, it was confirmed Friday.

Cairo is hoping to bring home the world’s greatest Egyptology treasures for a temporary exhibition in 2012 at the inauguration of the rebuilt Egyptian Museum.

The Roman and Pelizaeus Museum in Hildesheim said it had received an official application for a loan of its nearly immaculate seated statue of the vizier Hemiunu, believed to have headed construction of the Great Pyramid.

Katja Lembke, chief executive of the northern museum, said she saw no reason to reject the request out of hand, but she would be consulting with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s top culture aide, Bernd Neumann.

Neumann, state minister for culture, has backed a firm no to Egypt over a request to borrow the limestone bust, kept in Berlin, of Nefertiti, sometimes dubbed the world’s most beautiful woman.

The Hildesheim statue dates back to about 2500 BC and is thus 1,000 years older that Nefertiti.

Egypt hopes to display Hemiunu alongside the British Museum’s Rosetta Stone from London, the Louvre’s zodiac ceiling of the Hathor Temple in Dendera and Boston’s statue of Prince Ankhhaf, overseer of the Khafra Pyramid.

Legislators in Germany’s Bundestag parliament say Nefertiti must stay in Berlin because the bust might be damaged during a trip abroad. Egypt says it will soon officially apply for the loan of Nefertiti.