( – promoted by buhdydharma )
One of the most famous pieces of ancient art might not be so ancient, after all.
From Agence France-Presse:
The bust of Queen Nefertiti housed in a Berlin museum and believed to be 3,400 years old in fact is a copy dating from 1912 that was made to test pigments used by the ancient Egyptians, according to Swiss art historian Henri Stierlin.
Stierlin, author of a dozen works on Egypt, the Middle East and ancient Islam, says in a just-released book that the bust currently in Berlin’s Altes Museum was made at the order of German archaeologist Ludwig Borchardt by an artist named Gerardt Marks.
Stierlin says Borchardt wanted to make a new portrait of the queen, as well as to conduct those pigment tests.
But on December 6, 1912, the copy was admired as an original work by a German prince and the archaeologist “couldn’t sum up the courage to ridicule” his guest, Stierlin said.
And thus was art history made?
Because the stone bust is covered in plaster, and the paint itself is known to be ancient, scientific dating is impossible; but Stierlin makes a compelling case:
One of Berlin’s prime attractions it will move into its own hall at the newly renovated Neues Museum when it reopens to the public in October.
The cost of which should make for some very heated debate.