googlead166c37c697d4d3.html Glenn Ashton Author Blog: Tracking down Nefertiti in Berlin


Friday, July 29, 2011

Tracking down Nefertiti in Berlin

Alone - Nefertiti in the Old Museum, Berlin
Nein! Nein! Nein! Three times we were told during our visit to Berlin in 2009 that we could not see the famous bust of Nefertiti. 
She was not open to the public, said our tour guide. 
She was being prepared for a move to the New Museum, said the concierge of our hotel. 
She could not be seen  by tourists right now, said the museum official our hotel concierge phoned, at our insistence.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained, we thought, so we made our way to the Museum Island to see if we were definitely banned from seeing the famous Queen. 
Museum Island is the northern half of an island in the Spree River in central Berlin. 
It houses five museums, the Old Museum or Altes Museum built in 1830, and the New Museum or Neues Museum built in 1859. 
The New Museum was bombed by Allied forces during the Second World War, and was rebuilt and re-opened in 2009, after our visit there.
Click here for a 360 degree panorama of the Museum Island during the festival of lights.
We wandered into the Old Museum and voila! 
There she was. 
Museum Island, Berlin - aerial view
There was a display of busts of Cleopatra and Nefertiti, and THE bust was there.
As were dozens of people, thronging around this remarkable sculpture, which shortly thereafter was moved to the "palace" prepared for her in the New Museum.
Caesar bust in the Old Museum, Berlin
A little further down the hall we came across a bust of a brooding Caesar, with startling white eyes, seemingly pondering the fate of his empire and the queen of the pharaohs, Cleopatra, who had caused such disruption in it.
The Altes (Old) Museum, Berlin - Nefertiti's prison in 2009
We could not believe our luck, and snapped away, from all angles. 
To actually see the bust of this queen, who played a minor role in our novel, Obelisk Seven, was truly a gift from the gods – from the Egyptian gods, of course!
They did not answer Nein! to our question: Can we see the queen.

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