March 6, 2013

Germany celebrates 100 years since acquisition of Nefertiti bust

Posted at 6:56 pm in Similar cases

The Neferti bust is one of the most high profile artefacts that Egypt is requesting the return of. Germany’s latest actions only draw attention to this case though, by organising a special exhibition to commemorate the fact that it is 100 years since they acquired the artefact.

From:
Time

The Bust of Nefertiti: Remembering Ancient Egypt’s Famous Queen
By Ishaan Tharoor
Dec. 06, 2012

On a sunny afternoon on Dec. 6, 1912, an Egyptian worker at a dig along the banks of the Nile came across what may be the most striking find in the history of Egyptology. Ludwig Borchardt, the German archaeologist in charge of the excavation, scribbled excitedly in his diary a century ago: “The tools were put aside, and the hands were now used … It took a considerable amount of time until the whole piece was completely freed from all the dirt and rubble.” What emerged was a 3,300-year-old limestone bust of an ancient queen, colored with a gypsum lacquer. A flat-topped crown perched above a finely defined brow. Her cheekbones were high, nose distinguished. A thin, elegant neck — some now describe it “swanlike” — rose from the bust’s base. “We held the most lively piece of Egyptian art in our hands,” wrote Borchardt.

The bust is of Nefertiti, queen of Egypt and wife of Pharaoh Akhenaten, who reigned in the 14th century B.C. A hundred years after Nefertiti’s bust was lifted out of the ground at Amarna, some 480 km south of Cairo, it remains one of the most iconic figures of Egyptian antiquity, far smaller than the pyramids or the Sphinx, but no less globally resonant. The bust adorns souvenir schlock throughout Egypt and history schoolbooks worldwide. When it went on display at a museum in Berlin in the 1920s, it was almost immediately held up as a symbol of universal, timeless beauty. That’s not surprising. Nefertiti’s name means “the beautiful one has come.”

But she’s much more than a pretty face. The queen and the bust that made her famous in our time are both fascinating stories — with endings that are still shrouded in uncertainty. Little is known of Nefertiti’s origins save that she was born outside the royal family, the daughter of the pharaoh’s vizier. She married Amenhotep IV, who inherited a vast, rich empire from his father Amenhotep III that stretched from the Nubian wastes to the river lands of Syria. Theirs was a moment of relative stability, with trade, not conquest, filling Egypt’s coffers.

Yet Nefertiti and her husband were for centuries virtually wiped off the historical record; it’s only once archaeologists in the early 20th century started excavations of their capital complex at Amarna that they loomed out of the dark of the past. The reason, it seems, was a move taken by Nefertiti’s husband to abandon the cults of certain gods — and the bloated, powerful priesthoods that surrounded them — in favor of worship of just one abstracted figure: Aten, a god represented as a sun disk. Amenhotep IV assumed the name Akhenaten, or “one devoted to Aten,” and he and Nefertiti arguably became the world’s first monotheists. There are other moments in history when a royal takes such a daring ideological turn — Byzantine Emperor Julian forsook Christianity for Greek polytheism and philosophy; Mogul Emperor Akbar embraced the din-e-ilahi, a cosmological religion that melded Hinduism and Islam — but Akhenaten stands out for seeming so uncharacteristically modern in such an ancient moment. That modernity is reinforced by the outsize role played by Nefertiti. Friezes, steles and inscriptions all make clear that she was firmly at Akhenaten’s side, and sometimes even standing before him. In one image found on blocks at the site of Hermopolis, Nefertiti is cast in the classic role of a male conqueror, grabbing her enemies and captives by the hair while smiting them with a mace.

Historians and archaeologists now puzzle over whether she ruled on in the wake of her husband’s death. But evidence is spotty. Much of the artwork and symbolism of their rule was erased by reactionary successors who restored polytheistic worship to the court. Unlike many ancient Egyptian royals, archaeologists have yet to identify their mummies, though speculation has been rife in recent years.

Nefertiti’s bust, then, remains the most vivid artifact from their reign. It was found by Borchardt’s excavation in the studio of the court sculptor Thutmose and, it seems, whisked out of the country to Germany swiftly thereafter. That appropriation was in theory legal — the Europeans who dominated Egypt at the time as a colonial protectorate also ran the administration of its antiquities. When Egyptian authorities realized what sort of treasure had been taken from them, they petitioned Berlin for its return. Hitler’s Nazi government, which came to power in 1933, planned to return it to Egypt’s King Fuad until Hitler had a change of heart. “Do you know what I’m going to do one day? I’m going to build a new Egyptian museum in Berlin,” Hitler wrote in a letter to the Egyptians. “I dream of it. Inside I will build a chamber, crowned by a large dome. In the middle, this wonder, Nefertiti will be enthroned. I will never relinquish the head of the queen.”

This particular architectural fancy of Hitler didn’t come to pass, and Nefertiti’s bust found itself hidden in a salt mine for much of World War II. It’s now on display at the Neues Museum in Berlin. But for years, it hasn’t rest easy. Like the Elgin Marbles, the bust has become one of the totemic objects of a global conversation on culture and who owns it. Zahi Hawass, Egypt’s outspoken, controversial antiquarian in chief, campaigned in recent years for the object’s return to Egypt and was repeatedly turned aside by the Germans, who insist that the bust is both legally in their possession and in too fragile a state to be moved. His last demand was issued on Jan. 24, 2011: “I am doing something that I believe in and that should have been done a hundred years ago,” Hawass told reporters. A day later, Egypt’s Arab Spring revolution kicked off, and Hawass’s boss, President Hosni Mubarak, was soon toppled. Hawass himself has since lost his government perch, and the momentum for Nefertiti’s return has faded in the wake of Egypt’s other, far more immediate upheavals.

Nefertiti’s bust sits alone in Berlin, the centerpiece of an exhibition now commemorating its discovery. Defenders of global museums insist that no one nation has an exclusive right over the legacy of the past. “There are artworks that belong to our collective consciousness — Nefertiti is such a work,” said German Culture Minister Bernd Neumann, at the exhibit’s opening. Looking at Nefertiti’s serene face — Borchardt claimed it was “the epitome of tranquility and harmony” — one wonders what she would have thought.

From:
The Local (Germany)

Row continues: Nefertiti 100 yrs in German hands
Published: 6 Dec 12 06:56 CET

Berlin opens a major new exhibition on Thursday celebrating the centenary of the discovery of the 3,400-year-old fabled bust of Egypt’s Queen Nefertiti, while a feud with Cairo over who owns it rages on.

The show at the city’s New Museum showcases its most famous treasure – often said to be the most priceless depiction of the female visage after the Mona Lisa – and other booty carted home by German archaeologists after the December 6, 1912 find.

These include never-before-seen jewels of the Amarna period unearthed at the time by Ludwig Borchardt, and loans from institutions including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Louvre in Paris and London’s British Museum.

“There are artworks that belong to our collective consciousness – Nefertiti is such a work,” German Culture Minister Bernd Neumann told reporters at a preview of the show entitled “In the Light of Amarna”.

Nefertiti, renowned as one of history’s great beauties, was the powerful wife of Pharaoh Akhenaton, remembered for having converted his kingdom to monotheism with the worship of one sun god, Aton.

The sculpture, so fragile and valuable it is barred from being lent out, is the biggest draw at the museum, which was reopened in 2009 after a major restoration by British star architect David Chipperfield and now draws about a million visitors a year.

The limestone and plaster bust, dramatically displayed at the end of a long corridor under a dim spotlight, is stunning for its almond-shaped eyes – the right of which is missing the iris, aquiline nose, high cheekbones, sensuous lips and lofty blue crown with a band of red, grey and gold.

Its chipped ears are, remarkably, the only significant sign of damage exacted over the centuries.

The sculpture is at the top of a “wish list” of five major artifacts exhibited abroad that Egypt wants returned.

The campaign to get it back, which was spearheaded by former antiquities chief Zahi Hawass, has waned since the Arab Spring as Egypt grapples with more existential issues.

But officials in Berlin suggested that the dispute was rumbling on behind the scenes, despite what it said were documents proving the bust was bought legally by the former Prussian state.

“To head off any questions, let me say there is no doubt that Nefertiti rightfully belongs to the Berlin state cultural heritage foundation,” Neumann said.

He said endlessly competing ownership claims would only lead to “chaos” and insisted that Berlin took seriously its responsibility to preserve the bust for eternity.

“The real question of to whom Nefertiti belongs is easily answered – to us all,” he said.

The director of Berlin’s Egyptian Museum, housed in the New Museum, Friederike Seyfried, said the Arab Spring’s upheaval had prevented scholarly cooperation with Egypt on the show and said she wished this could resume soon.

“I hope the political situation stabilises there and doesn’t go in a direction we would regret,” she said.

Amarna refers to the ruins of an ancient city founded by Akhenaton, where Borchardt and his team excavated more than 7,000 archaeological objects, about 5,500 of which made their way to Berlin.

The Berlin show will run until April 13 and features more than 1,000 of these objects including jewellery, ceramics and floor tiles from the royal palace featuring elaborate floral garlands.

A bust of Akhenaton which was restored especially for the exhibition is another keenly awaited highlight.

The show covers the art of the era, including discoveries from the sculpture workshop of Thutmose who is believed to have crafted Nefertiti, as well as the daily life of Amarna’s citizens.

And it sheds new light on the work of James Simon, Borchardt’s Jewish benefactor, whose contributions were largely eliminated from the historical record under the Nazis.

AFP/hc

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10 Comments »

  1. grhluna25 said,

    03.06.13 at 6:58 pm

    RT @elginism: Blog post: Germany celebrates 100 years since acquisition of Nefertiti bust http://t.co/bHbuuMgxW8

  2. huibree said,

    03.06.13 at 7:06 pm

    RT @elginism: Blog post: Germany celebrates 100 years since acquisition of Nefertiti bust http://t.co/bHbuuMgxW8

  3. ljones6979 said,

    03.06.13 at 7:27 pm

    Scary on many levels RT @elginism: Blog post: Germany celebrates 100 years since acquisition of Nefertiti bust http://t.co/77tl84K2Ps

  4. EricdeMarylebon said,

    03.06.13 at 7:37 pm

    RT @elginism: Blog post: Germany celebrates 100 years since acquisition of Nefertiti bust http://t.co/bHbuuMgxW8

  5. Edgard Mansoor said,

    09.13.13 at 8:14 pm

    How can the bust be authentic if, six years before he became Director of the Berlin Egyptian Museum, in his letter dated September 9, 1983 sent to Mr. Henri Stierlin, Dietrich Wildung, wrote in his “Historical-Stylistic Analyses of the bust,” worded” on the letterhead of the “Direktion der Staatlichen Sammlung Agyptischer Kunst, Munchen” that the bust is 1} an ice-cold perfection; 2} a lifeless works of art; 3} not one shred of amarna style is perceptible in it, and 4} a fabricated work of art? (please see page 47 in Stierlin’s book of “Le buste de Nefertiti, une imposture de l’egyptologie).

    Stierlin had asked Wildung to write the preface for his book, and Wildung had gladly accepted (see pages 30 & 31 of “Le buste……) and now, Mr. Stierlin does not want to have his book translated in English. When I sent him an email and proposed that he should have his book translated so that English speaking persons and the World of Arts and Sciences could read it in order to be aware of what Wildung had said about the bust in his capacity as the “International Leading Egypologist” , he said that his publisher does not want to do it. I told him I would be happy to do it for him with at no cost, but he refused and added: “If you do, you’ll be like a pirate”. I posted my conversation with him on the website of “Thoth-Scribe” as well as a number of chapters of his book in English. It is only fair that everybody knows about it.

    It is very clear that he does not want English-speaking Egyptologists to read what he had told Stierlin about the bust, and now it is Stierlin that does not want his book to be translated. Has Wildung been able to convince Stierlin after the delegation he had sent to Geneva (see next paragraph) had failed? “MONEY TALKS”.

    When he became Director of the Berlin Egyptian Museum, he sent a delegation headed by Egyptologist Rolf Krauss to Geneva to convince Stierlin to give up his investigation about the bust, but the delegation failed. Wildung then sent him a letter telling him that now that he has been hired as Director by the Museum’s Board of Trustees, he must follow the Museum’s rules, meaning he can no longer claim the bust is a fake as he had written in his “Historical/Stylistic Analyses of the bust”.

    In doing so, he exposed the Museum’s Board of Trustees as that the Board Members knew the bust is a fake and did not want anyone to revive the rumor that has been going on since the supposed discovery of the bust, or say or even suspect that the bust is a fake.

    In summoning scientists to prove the bust is authentic, the “CT scans” proved more that it is a fake since a full-fledged sculptor, especially the leading sculptor of a “Royal Workshop” would “never” carve a royal portrait from a natural stone, then cover it with plaster as it would be considered a “lese-majesty” to cover a royal portrait with a material such as plaster, a cheap material that was spread by masons on walls and ceilings of dwellings, tombs and temples to smooth their surfaces so that they be ready to be painted. Just ask a respectable well-known sculptor.

    In any event, the sculptor had no intention of covering the bust with plaster, since “IF” he had any such intention, he wouldn’t have had to give Nefertiti a face-lift as the CT scans showed the sculptor had made some retouching on Nefertiti’s face, and if he had an intention of covering the bust with plaster, why did he do some retouching on Nefertiti’s face?

    The Honorable George Xanthos, Judge of the “Superior Court of the State of California, in and for the County of Los Angeles”, has stigmatized Dietrich Wildung an “intellectually dishonest man”. And in not extending Dietrich Wildung’s contract with the Museum by another six months in order for him to have the “honor and privilege” of becoming the first Director of the “New Berlin Egyptian Museum”, the Board of Trustees has rejected him as Dr. Richard Fazzini rejected John Cooney in his letter dated January 7, 2002, addressed to Mr. Samuel Huang of Taipei, Taiwan.

    One may think that I have an axe to grind for Dietrich Wildung because he spread the rumor that the Mansoor amarna collection is a forgery which is not the case since Prof. Leon Silver of “CALTECH” has authenticated the collection “beyond ANY AND ALL reasonable doubts” and said collection has been backed up by the late Dr. Harold J. Plenderleith, former Director of the British Museum Laboratory, then “Founder and First Director Emeritus” of ICCROM under UNSECO. This is in order not to say that altogether more than 25 of the most honorable Egyptologists and Scientists have also authenticated the collection.

    Wildung has also desecrated the memory of Honorable deceased persons such as the late Dr. Etienne Drioton, former Director General of the Cairo Museum Department of Antiquities, and Isabel and M.A.Mansoor, to satisfy his ego, and ignored the wish of H.H Pope John Paul II by influencing the Directors of the Louvre and Vatican Egyptian Museum to remove from public exhibit amarna sculptures the Mansoor brothers and sisters had offered these museums to illustrated the memory of the deceased.

    To read all documents related to Wildung’s criminal actions, please visit: http://www.mansooramarnacollection.com

    Edgard Mansoor

  6. Edgard Mansoor said,

    09.19.13 at 10:40 pm

    Dietrich Wildung did not hurt the Berlin Egyptian Museum only. He hurt the Vatican Egyptian Museum, the Louvre Museum and all the Egyptologists who befriended him..

    Read what’s in the following links to learn about the harm he has done to Egyptologists and Egyptology. Altogether, he has disgraced the “World of Arts and Sciences”.

    The first link is the report of the late Dr. Harold J. Plenderleith, former Director of the British Museum laboratory, then Founder and First Director Emeritus of ICCROM under UNESCO. The second one is the report of the late Dr. Etienne Drioton. The third one is of Professor Leon Silver of CALTECH. Prof. Silver has discovered enrichment of Barium and copper on the surgace of the Mansoor object. This enrichment on the surface of desert rock was discovered in “1958”, and the Mansoor collection had been purchased over a period of 20 years beginning in 1920 and ending in 1941.

    http://www.mansooramarnacollection.com/docs/DrPlenderleith-19610424.pdf

    http://www.mansooramarnacollection.com/docs/drioton.html

    http://www.mansooramarnacollection.com/docs/silver.htm

    http://www.mansooramarnacollection.com/correspondence/gift_to_the_pope.shtm

    http://www.mansooramarnacollection.com/correspondence/gift_to_louvre.shtml

    http://www.mansooramarnacollection.com/correspondence/lies_from_DWildung.shtml

    http://www.mansooramarnacollection.com/correspondence/itsamafia.shtml

    Edgard Mansoor

  7. Edgard Mansoor said,

    12.31.13 at 5:30 pm

    The following is a write-up about “How a Work of Art is accepted by the Louvre Museum”, translated from the French and as posted by me on the website of the French Newspaper of “Le Monde” : <>

    How a work of art is accepted by the Louvre.

    From pages 351 to 353 of the book titled “La Grande Nubiade”. 1992, “Edition Stock/Pernoud”. By Madame Christiane Desroches Noblecourt, General Inspector Emeritus of the Museums of France.

    Every Conservator-in-chief of a department is naturally Scientific
    Director of his “Museum”. By itself the Louvre consisted of seven
    Museums (departments) all of which depended on a Director of the Louvre
    who is personally under the authority of the Director of the Museums of
    France. The Problem with buying works of art as we perceive it, is crucial and complex; therefore there was a “public establishment” whose main purpose was to assist the Administration of the Museums of France in the acquisition of free gifts or costly artwork and collectibles intended for the national collections as well as for organizing exhibitions. It also helps the administration with services and activities particularly with the intention of earning complementary resources. Formerly governed by the law of 1901, it has recently changed status.

    Its organization markedly included a Scientific Council incorporation
    of the National Museums Union. The latter presided by an illustrious
    intellectual outside the department and consisting of senior State civil servants, acclaimed collectors and brilliant academicians. For purchases, credits are naturally allocated and expanded by the Department, powered by bequests and donations, and especially by Museums visitors’entry fees. In some extremely rare cases, the State intervenes by allocating a “special grants”.

    Regarding the acquisition of a work of art, each conservator-in-chief seeks the advice of his peers by secret ballot in the course of the Conservators’ Committee which meets immutably every month and chaired by the Director of the Museums of France. To overcome this first test, the proposed purchase must exhibit exceptional qualities in order for it to be accepted and enter the “exhibit rooms” representing the art and civilization of the concerned department. In short, a “unique” object. It is necessary to first examine it at the laboratory of the National Museums, to gather on it the maximum of “solid” evidence about Its authenticity, but above all one must not forget its archaeological Study.

    Naturally, the object is exhibited in the Council Chamber where meetings are held; documents in support of the presentation pass from hand to hand between the responsibles for all National Museums. For Egypt, questions pop up often from the archaeological departments, but also from all other specialists in art and culture that can not be indifferent. Then comes the secret ballot: emotional moment for the presenter, because in any event, the budget is limited and most members of this committee must also defend their own purchases.

    At this level of the adventure, the object has traveled only halfway to enter the Louvre. It must now face the Arts Council of Museums. Each interested curator takes very seriously his role of defender. The objectives of the jury in front of whom the object will be exhibited are no longer quite the same as those of the Committee. One must wait in the antechamber of the meeting room, wait for his turn, then leave the room after pleading and attending the vote. One had to provide the most convincing comments about the artwork and highlight its most impressive qualities. Collectors are very demanding, and more than often their eye are infallible. The great Administrators can not help weigh the market value of the object and its own interest. Finally, one must convince no longer Museum specialists, but the historians and the elite of the world of culture and arts.

    Once a favorable verdict is reached, the new acquisition earns definite
    credentials of nobility, is dedicated and received at the conservation, then given a genuine ritual: its entry number within the collections. The best study for objects is the one to which one is engaged in defending them through these relevant and varied judgments.
    *********************

    In October of 1981, the Mansoor brothers and sisters had offered a Princess statuette of the “Amarna Period” to the Louvre Museum in memory of the late French Egyptologist, “canon Etienne Drioton”, former Director General of the Antiquities Department of Egypt, Researcher at the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scentifique), Curator Emeritus, Egyptian Department of the Louvre, and Professor at the “College de France. The statuette had been authenticated by more than 25 of the most distinguished Egyptologists and Scientists in the world and endorsed by the illustrious and world renown Dr. Harold J. Plenderleith, former Director of the British Museum Laboratory for 35 years, then “Founder” and “first Director Emeritus” of ICCROM, under UNESCO.

    http://www.mansooramarnacollection.com/docs/plender.html “OR”

    http://www.mansooramarnacollection.com/docs/DrPlenderleith-19610424.pdf#sthash.3aaxdvDa.dpuf

    In spite of the more than 25 “favorable” artistic evaluation and scientific examinations of the “ENTIRE” Mansoor amarna collection, the statuette was one more time “thoroughly examined” by the Scientists of the Louvre “AND” of the CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research), was found authentic and accepted by the Louvre. All of this beside the fact that the collection has been proved to be authentic BEYOND “ANY AND ALL” REASONABLE DOUBTS as you can read in the last paragraph of above posting dated 09.19.13 at 10:40 p.m also posted by me.

    Thereafter, we received a letter of thanks “dated Nov. 18, 1981″ from Dr. Hubert Landais, “Director General of the Museums of France”, and “Administrator” of the “National Museums Union” in which he was kind enough to thank us for the gift, on his behalf, as well as on behalf of the Members of the “Artistic Council of the Museums of France” for “enriching” the National Collections (Tous m’ont prie d’etre aupres de vous l’interprete de leur reconnaissance pour cet enrichissement des collections nationales).

    In 1977, before we had offered the gift to the Louvre, we had offered first a gift of two pieces from the collection to His Holiness Pope John Paul II for the “Museo Gregoriano Egizio” and at the same time to illustrate the memory of our parents “Isabel and M.A.Mansoor”. But Dietrich Wildung is the “International Leading Infallible Expert Egyptologist”. How can anyone say the Mansoor collection is authentic without his permission, especially when he says “IT IS NOT AUTHENTIC ?” He ordered them to be removed out of the Museums. We were lucky to get back the 2 pieces from the Vatican Museum as the Director didn’t want to run the risk of a scandal. As to the piece in the Louvre we are having a problem in not being able to get it back, perhaps the statuette could have been destroyed after the crazy Wildung’s order. If it has been destroyed, the Louvre Museum is in big trouble: It will be the biggest scandal ever involving one of the biggest Museums in the World.

    As far as Wildung is concerned, he will definitely end up in jail.

    http://www.mansooramarnacollection.com/correspondence/gift_to_the_pope.shtml

    Wildung, the Egyptologist who in his “Historical/Stylistic Analysis of the bust” he had sent Mr. Henri Stierlin (Please see page 47 of his book titled “Le buste de Nefertiti,une imposture de l’egyptologie”) had said the bust is 1} an ice-cold perfection, 2} a lifeless work, 3} not one shred of style of the (amarna) period is perceptible in it, and 4} a fabricated work of art, says the Mansoor collection is not authentic while a score of HONEST, intelligent and experienced Egyptologists and Scientists have examined it and confirmed time and again that it is, and can be nothing but authentic, wants to be right and everybody else wrong, including Dr Harold J. Plenderleith.

    The Man must be either dishonest, inexperienced or insane. What he did is that 1} he incriminated innocent Egyptologists by talking them into doing his dirty satanic work for him while the coward hides behind their backs; 2} he desecrated the memory of decent deceased persons, 3} caused the loss of important objects to the Vatican and Louvre Museums, and 4} Stained the reputations of the Vatican, Louvre and Berlin Museums.

    What he means to say also is that we had the temerity of offering fake objects to honor the memory of Drioton and my parents. Yes! he must be insane.

    My dissertation about “Why the Nefertiti bust is a fake will be out sooner than you think, and Wildung will not know where to hide his face.

    The following is a portion of an article about the “New Berlin Egyptian Museum” and an interview with the 2 Directors of the Museum that had been published in the website of “Heritagekey”, then was deleted entirely because Dr. Friederike Seifried said that her favorite object in the museum is the statue of “Cherti-hotep” and not the Nefertiti bust. Also because I had posted 3 long dissertations, one about “Why the Nefertiti bust is a fake beyond any and all reasonable doubts; the second about “Why the Mansoor amarna collection is authentic beyond any and all reasonable doubts”, and the third about “The Shameful Sabotage of the Mansoor amarna collection Rome Exhibit” by Dietrich Wildung. All three dissertations most detrimental to the integrity and reputation of the Museum and of Wildung. Luckily I had made a copy of the whole 47 pages and kept it “Word Perfect”.

    Is it for no reason that the Honorable Judge, George Xanthos, of the Superior Court of the State of Cali8fornia stigmatized Dietrich Wildung an “Intellectually dishonest man?”. You may read it in the link below.

    http://www.mansooramarnacollection.com/scandal/preface-.htm

    Edgard Mansoor

    (HK is the reporter of “heritagekey”; FS Is Friederike Seifreid, and MW is Matthaias Wemhoff, the 2 Directors of the New Museum)

    FS: From 1967 to 2005, the Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection was housed in the eastern Stüler building in Berlin Charlottenburg, where after the Reunification it was joined by the East Berlin museums’ own Egyptian collection, previously (since 1958) housed in the Bode Museum. After a temporary stay in the Altes Museum, the Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection has once again returned to the house for which it was originally intended and where it first went on display in 1850.
    MW: From 1958 onwards the collection of the Museum of Pre and Early History was given a new home in West Berlin in a building in Berlin Charlottenburg designed by Carl Gotthard Langhans (the architect of the Brandenburg Gate). In 1990 after the Reunification it was merged with those parts of the collection that had until then been administered by the East Berlin Museum for Prehistory and were integrated into the exhibition in Charlottenburg.
    HK: Which are your favorite artifacts among the Neues Museum’s collection, and for you, what makes them special?
    MW: Our most popular artifact is of course the golden hat from the Late Bronze Age. It was worn by a priest in a ritual context. But my favorite exhibition pieces are the jade axes from Mönchpfiffel (Saxony-Anhalt). The raw material [comes] from the western Alps of Italy. They [are] proof that already in Neolithic times prestigious goods had been traded through networks over broad areas of Europe.
    FS: In the part of the Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection the most famous pieces are of course the bust of Nefertiti and the – so-called – Berlin Green Head, but beside these marvelous pieces, my favorite one is the seated quartzite statue of Cherti-hotep, an official of the Middle Kingdom, dating [from] about 1800 BC.

  8. Edgard Mansoor said,

    02.23.14 at 8:46 pm

    As you have read in some of the above postings, the Amarna Princess statuette that the Mansoor brothers and sisters had offered to H. H. Pope John Paul II as a gift for the Vatican Egyptian Museum and in memory of their parents, had been removed from public exhibit at the request of an insane Egyptologist: Dietrich Wildung.. But it had been removed by Christiane Ziegler and not by Guillemette Andreu-Lanoe.

    In Museums’ circles, it is a sacred duty that some officials cover-up for other colleagues who commit mistakes and even crimes. That’s exactly what Andreu-Lanoe did. She didn’t say that she removed the princess or that Ziegler did, but she said she will not exhibit it because it is a fake.

    How does she know it is a fake? She said every body says “it is a fake”; the Scientific Community says it is This is like “one dog barks and a hundred bark at the sound”. What Wildung said is just as bad and even worse: He said: “The Egytptian Art Milieu says it is a fake”.

    What would they do if I tell them to prove what they said? Can they get a written and signed affirmation from more than 700 Egyptologists around the World to the effect of what they claim?

    You can see in above posting of 12.31.13 at 5.30 pm how rigorous are the rules for a work of art to enter the Louvre Museum.

    When the “wood harp head” of Akhenaten and the “Blue glass ” Head of Toutankhamon of the Louvre had been suspected of being fakes, the Museum Director at the time had them examined by the Museum’s scientists, and it is only then that when they were proven to be fakes beyond reasonable doubts that they were withdrawn from public exhibit. But then, that was an intelligent Museum Director of the Louvre.

    In the case of the amarna Princess statuette offered by the Mansoors to illustrate the memory of the Late Dr. Etienne Drioton, Madame Christiane Noblecourt had submitted more than 15 favorable scientific reports and at least 6 favorable artistic evaluations about the entire Mansoor collection.

    Yet Madame Guillemette Andreu-Lanoe, head of the Egyptian Department of Antiquities of the Louvre Museum had the temerity to ignore “ALL” favborable scientific reports and “ALL” favorable artistic evaluations of the collection, ignored the acceptance of the statuette by the Director and Members of The “Artistic Council of the Museums of France” who approved of the statuette.

    “NOT ONLY THIS”, but Andreu-Lanoe accused Madame Noblecourt of lying and fooling the Director and members of the “Artistic Council of the Museum of France” in claiming that when Noblecourt had entered the statuette in the Museum’s register, she had marked in the margin of the register “modern epoch?”, the word epoch followed by an interrogation mark, meaning that Noblecourt was not sure that the statuette is authentic and therefore fooled them all.

    My conclusion is that Guillemette Andreu-Lanoe is a “BIG LIAR” and should resign her position to let someone honest take over. As to Madame Christiane Ziegler, The “Medal of the Legion of Honor” should be taken away from her for withdrawing the statuette at the request of Dietrich Wildung, also in lying, and in claiming that she withdrew it because of lack of space and not because it is not authentic, when there was plenty of space since Madame Noblecourt had it already exhibited for a number of years before retiring, and before the devil in Wildung whispered in Ziegler’s and Lanoe’s ears. Ziegler could have withdrawn a few scarabs, amulets or one or two “ushabtis”to make space for the Statuette, that is if there really were no space.
    http://www.culture.gouv.fr/culture/actualites/conferen/albanel/ziegler.htm

    Finally, as to Mr. Henri Loyrette, I am surprised he didn’t advise Andreu- Lanoe to submit the statuette to the Scientists of the Museums as had been done to the Heads of Akhenaten and Toutankhamon. And why suspect an object that had been examined and “authenticated more than any other object in the World” because it had been donated by the Mansoors? Why not suspect an object donated by a private collector?

    I am even more surprised that above-mentioned three “High Officials” of the Louvre could risk the Museum’s reputation by collaborating with Dietrich Wildiung, to save his reputation when he has been stigmatized an “Intellectually dishonest man” by the Honorable George Xanthos, Judge of the Superior Court of the State of California, in and for the County of Los Angeles?

    Ziegler and Loyrette are out of the Museum. What’s Andreu-Lanoe waiting for to sneak out quietly to avoid the biggest scandal ever in the “World of Arts and Sciences” erupts?

    The late Sir Harold J. Plenderleith (I found out recently that Dr. Plenderleith had been knighted by Queen Elizabeth) had told me in 1961 when I visited him in his Rome Office, that there is no chance the Mansoor collection could consist of forgeries after it has been examined and authenticated by Prof. Leon Silver of CALTECH.. And before him, Geologist Prof. Robert Compton of Stanford University had told me : “Had I known Prof. Silver was going to examine objects from your collection and write a favorable report, I would have told you: “your collection doesn’t need to be examined anymore”.

    There is thunder over the “World of Arts and Sciences”.

    The Chinese philosopher Confucius (55-478 B.C) said: “One mistake, “ONLY ONE” can cause a lifelong regret.

    Ziegler, Lanoe and Loyrette are waiting to see if what Confucius said is true. Wildung is already experiencing it quietly.

    Edgard Mansoor

  9. Edgard Mansoor said,

    02.26.14 at 12:49 am

    Are Museums’ officials capable of committing crimes? The answer is “Yes” they are and they have. Here is a good example: Christiane Ziegler, former head, and Guillemette Andreu-Lanoe, the present head of the Louvre Museum Dept. of Egyptian antiquities and Mr. Henri Loyrette, former Director of the Louvre have committed the most despicable and shameful crime a Scholar can commit. In November of 1981, the Mansoor Family offered a gift of a “Amarna Princess statuette” to illustrate the memory of the late Dr. Etienne Drioton, one of the greatest French Egyptologists and “un des egyptologues les plus complets” (one of the most accomplished Egyptologist) according to Mr. Jacques Vandier The statuette is from the collection of amarna sculptures that have been examined in the flesh by more than 25 of the most knowledgeable Egyptologists and Scientists, and authenticated beyond “ANY AND ALL” reasonable doubts, and its authenticity approved and “strongly backed up” by the legendary late Sir Harold J. Plenderleith, former Director of the British Museum Laboratory for 35 years, then Founder and First Director Emeritus of ICCROM under UNESCO.

    Beside having been authenticated by the many Egyptologists and Scientists as mentioned above, Mme. Noblecourt had “submitted the statuette” to the scientists of the Louvre as required in order to gather on it as many proofs of its authenticity as possible in order for it to be accepted.

    I have posted on the French website of “Le Monde”: “How a work of Art is accepted by the Louvre” as related by Mme. Noblecourt in her book of “La Grande Nubiade”.in which she says: “Il est nécessaire de le faire d’abord analyser au laboratoire des Musées nationaux, pour réunir sur lui le maximum de preuves matérielles de son authenticité” (It is necessary to have it first analyzed at the laboratory of the National Museums in order to gather on it the maximum proofs of its authenticity), as listed in French at the end of the link below.

    http://corinefertiti.blog.lemonde.fr/2010/02/18/rencontre-n%C2%B02-a-berlin-chez-nefertiti/

    In August of 1986 we wanted to offer the Louvre another piece in honor of Mme. Noblecourt for her gigantic work in trying to save the temples of Abu-Simbel. Not only our offer was turned down by <>, but we noticed she had also withdrawn the Princess statuette from public exhibit. That’s Ziegler’s two crimes.

    Mme. Lanoe covered up for Ziegler, didn’t say Ziegler is the one who withdrew the statuette from public exhibit, but said she wouldn’t exhibit it because “the scientific community” says it is a fake. A respectable scholar never repeats what others say. He or she must states their own personal opinion based on concrete evidence and common sense. Professor Claude Vandersleyen says that when someone says “everybody says…… etc” it’s like during the Middle Ages when in a “law suit” the one who gathers the most witnesses on his side would win the case whether the witnesses are honest or not, whether they are telling the truth or not, etc…… But “Confucius”, the Chinese philosopher (551-478 B.C) says it’s like: “One dog barks, and a hundred bark at the sound”.

    But that’s not her only crime in refusing to exhibit the statuette and claiming it’s a fake without having examined it or having it reexamined by the Museums’ scientists and in spite of all the scientific reports authenticating the collection. She also said in her letter of April 11, 2011 addressed to Alfred Mansoor that when Mme. Noblecourt registered the statuette, she marked in the margin of the registry book “modern epoch?” , the word epoch being followed by an interrogation mark, insinuating that Mme. Noblecourt was not convinced about the authenticity of the piece. This is a pure lie, and here is why I say that: To begin with, Mme. Noblecourt couldn’t possibly fool the Administrator of the “National Museums’ Union”, and Members of “The Artistic Council of the Museums of France”, that is headed by the Director of the Museums of France. The conclusion is that either there is no such mark in the margin of the register and Mme. Lanoe lied to us to scare us and make us believe that Mme. Noblecourt made a bad mistake, or she put the “notation” herself in the margin and she would then be accusing Noblecourt of doing it.

    Better yet, in the letter dated August 17, 1981, that Mme. Noblecourt addressed to our representative in Paris after the statuette had been accepted by the Director and Members of the “Artistic Council of the Museum of France”, Mme. Noblecourt tells him: “Here is almost the solution of a long story: You’ll admit that I had to have a certain determination to confront the verdict of some and the bad faith of others and take honest responsibilities toward science that one would disserve if one lacks courage. I have made this decision in my soul and conscience and I know that as far as the object I have entered in the Louvre is concerned, my admirable teacher, canon Etienne Drioton would have done the same. Moreover, I am happy for doing something in his memory”.

    If Mme Noblecourt had really entered a suspicious object in the Museum and wrote a letter such as the one above, I would say she must have been a very dishonest person. But knowing her as I do, I “MUST” say that Lanoe lied, that she betrayed her and betrayed the Museum in order to cover up for Ziegler, save and protect Dietrich Wildung’s reputation who is the culprit behind all of this, and is also the one behind the withdrawal of the 2 amarna objects we offered His Holiness Pope John Paul II as a gift for the Vatican Egyptian Museum and in memory of Isabel and M.A. Mansoor, parents of the Mansoor brothers and sisters. In so doing, all 3 Egyptologists have ignored the wish of H.H. the Pope who wanted the pieces exhibited in a place worthy of their scientific and historic importance, and all 3 have desecrated the memory of honorable deceased persons.

    As far as Mr. Henri Loyrette is concerned, I am greatly surprised that he didn’t advise Lanoe to have the statuette reexamined by the Museum’s scientists instead of telling Alfred that it is a fake because the scientific community says it is a fake. Doesn’t he know the rules of the Museum? What are the Museum’s scientists there for? That’s his mistake, or should I call it a crime?

    Is it any wonder that the Honorable George Xanthos, Judge of the Superior Court of the State of California, in and for the County of Los Angeles, has stigmatized Dietrich Wildung an “Intellectually dishonest scholar”?

    http://www.mansooramarnacollection.com/scandal/preface-.htm

    Edgard

  10. D. Dean said,

    05.23.14 at 8:47 pm

    Germany celebrates the Theft of the bust of Nefertiti.

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