The bust of the Ancient Egyptian Queen in Berlin's “Neues Museum” (New Museum). Egypt will make a formal request to Germany for the return of the 3,400 year-old bust of fabled Queen Nefertiti, but Germany said the bust will remain in Berlin. - AFP File Photo

CAIRO: Egypt will make a formal request to Germany for the return of the 3,400 year-old bust of fabled Queen Nefertiti, the state minister for antiquities said on Tuesday.

Zahi Hawass said a letter would be sent to Germany to demand the return of the Nefertiti bust, nearly a century after it was uncovered on the banks of the Nile.

“A formal request will be sent through the Egyptian foreign ministry next week, attached with all the evidence that shows the 3,400-year-old statue was smuggled out of the country illegally,” Hawass said.

Hawass had already sent a request to Germany in January in his capacity as head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, one day before the launch of anti-regime protests that led to the ouster of president Hosni Mubarak.

The German government has denied repeated Egyptian requests to have the bust back, insisting there is nothing illegal about its acquisition.

Germany says the bust - unearthed in 1912 by German archaeologist Ludwig Borchardt - was bought legally by the Prussian state, and that there are documents to prove it.

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

The bust is at the top of a “wish list” of five major artifacts exhibited abroad that Egypt wants returned as part of its cultural heritage.

Opinion

Hoping for miracles
Updated 26 Sep 2021

Hoping for miracles

Pakistan will be exposed to international recrimination if the Taliban revert to their old ways.

Editorial

Updated 26 Sep 2021

Intransigent Taliban

PRIME MINISTER Imran Khan has delivered an effective speech at the UN General Assembly session detailing the salient...
26 Sep 2021

Deadly misinformation

THE distinction between ‘fake’ and ‘authentic’ news is now a concept impossible to escape. In an...
26 Sep 2021

Covid arrests

THE unilateral decision taken by Karachi’s East Zone police to arrest citizens without Covid vaccination cards ...
25 Sep 2021

NAB controversy

THE completion of the four-year term of NAB chairman Javed Iqbal early next month has afforded Prime Minister Imran...
Cabinet ‘inclusivity’
Updated 25 Sep 2021

Cabinet ‘inclusivity’

Voices are being raised questioning when the much-hyped inclusivity the group had talked about will materialise.
25 Sep 2021

Quorum malady

LACK of quorum has become a chronic problem for the present National Assembly which is in the process of becoming a...