googlead166c37c697d4d3.html Glenn Ashton Author Blog: Nefertiti – Torn between the Iron Lady and "Raider" Hawass


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Nefertiti – Torn between the Iron Lady and "Raider" Hawass

"Raider" Hawass
Is it High Noon in Berlin? Has the head of the Supreme Council of the Antiquities of Egypt exposed a deep fear of the Chancellor of Germany?

Dr. Hawass' Question
Dr. Zahi Hawass had this question for the Chancellor, when his request for the bust of Nefertiti to be loaned to Egypt was refused:
“They think we will be like the Raiders of the Lost Ark, that we will take it and not return it,” said Mr Hawass, who has been a vociferous champion for the permanent return of Egyptian artefacts.
Is this what the Iron Lady - as Chancellor Angela Merkel has been called - fears? That Hawass will don his famous hat, put on his dusty boots, strap his pistol to his waist, pick up his trusty horsewhip, and beat off any attempts by the Germans to have the Nefertiti bust returned to Germany after the loan period expires?

Part of the German family?
It seems that the Germans have decided that the Beautiful One is fitting in well in Berlin, according to one Museum official:
The bust, [Dietrich Wildung, head of the Egyptian Museum], says, has become globally famous in a way that it would not have had it stayed in Egypt. “Nefertiti has become an outstanding example of how the foreign can be integrated into society,” Dr Wildung says. “She is accepted, not assimilated. She keeps her separateness and her uniqueness, yet she belongs here.”
The Fragile Queen?

And the Germans raised another reason why they just could not allow the bust of Nefertiti to be sent to Egypt for a short vacation in her homeland:

German officials say that the bust is too fragile to travel. “Nefertiti is not a pop star that can simply go on tour,” a senior official said.
Angela (Iron Lady) Merkel with Nefertiti Bust
So the bust is too delicate to travel home for a vacation? The bust that survived being buried in the hot desert sands of Egypt for over 1,500 years, that was then dug up in 1912 and taken to the home of James Simon in Berlin in Germany, hidden in flack tower and later deep down in a salt mine during the Second World War to avoid Allied bombing, then after the war ended was moved first to Frankfurt then to a central warehouse of the Wiesbaden State Museum, then back to Berlin to the Old Museum and now to the New Museum?
She sure sounds pretty tough to me!
Chancellor Merkel, who lives just across the street from the New (Neues) Museum, Nefertiti's new prison in Berlin, can pop in to see her any time she wants to, but the people of Egypt have been denied the chance to see their famous queen for a few weeks.

The Nefertiti Standoff
Nefertiti's bust is one of "Raider" Hawass' Famous Five targets for return to Egypt (another one is the Rosetta Stone).
It seems we have a standoff between the German Iron Lady and the Egyptian Raider.

Our view - Set Her Free
Our view is in our novel, Obelisk Seven – click here and here to see it: Nefertiti should be set free, and returned to her home. Our compromise between the "No negotiations" stance of Chancellor Merkel and the "Unconditional Surrender" of Dr. Hawass is set out here (it uses something Kaiser Wilhelm II owned as part of our solution).
It is time for people of good will thoughout the world to rally behind "Raider" Hawass and insist on the return to Egypt of the bust of Nefertiti.
Set her free, Chancellor Merkel.
Let her go home.

James Simon - backer of Ludwig Borchardt who found Nefertiti Bust
Berlin flack tower - home of Nefertiti bust in 1941

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