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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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Cairo or Bust for Nefertiti
24 January 2011 1:45 pm
She has been dead for more than 3 millennia, but Queen Nefertiti is kicking up diplomatic dust between Cairo and Berlin. Today, Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities demanded the return of a famous bust of the queen which has been in Berlin since its discovery in 1912 by German archaeologists. Egypt has been trying to get her back since the 1920s—Adolf Hitler refused to send her back in the 1930s—but now it is bringing more pressure to bear. Council chief Zahi Hawass made the request in writing to the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation which oversees the Neues Museum where Nefertiti now reigns. Hawass said in a statement that the council is asking that "this unique treasure be returned to the possession of its rightful owners." Egypt maintains the discoverer misled Egyptian authorities after its discovery. But the initial German reaction was dismissive.
A foundation statement (German, here) noted that the bust was removed with permission by the Egyptian government. "There can be not talk of anyone being fooled," the statement read. A German foreign ministry spokesperson noted at a press briefing today in Berlin that the council request is not a formal government request, since it was addressed to the foundation, and since it was not signed by the Egyptian prime minister or foreign minister. The 3300-year-old limestone bust, which still boasts vibrant colors, has become an icon of female beauty and power and reflects the unique style of the Amarna period. Nefertiti was wife of Akhenaten, the pharaoh who abandoned the old gods during his New Kingdom reign, and he spurred a radical new style in Egyptian art as well as religion. For now, it seems Nefertiti will stay in Berlin.