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Nefertiti News

Is anyone keeping score here? Word comes from Cairo that Germany has agreed to establish a joint committee to decide whether the famed bust of Nefertiti (that's her along the left column of this blog) can go back to Egypt on loan, as has been requested by the country's leading archeological gadfly/pharaoh, Zahi Hawass. Hawass told a wire service that he received a letter from Berlin giving him news of the committee, a change from the earlier German position, which was that Nefertiti was too fragile to travel. Hawass had threatened to suspend all German excavations and exhibits if Nefertiti did not come as a loan in time for the opening of a major new museum in Cairo in 2012. For those keeping track, Hawass has asked for five pieces; one, a sculpture of one of the pyramid architects, has been relinquished by the Hildesheim museum. Now Nefertiti might be allowed a furlough. Remains another architect bust at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts; the Rosetta Stone in London; and a zodiac temple ceiling at the Louvre.