Artists Secretly Steal Queen Nefertiti Bust by 3D-Scanning it

By Gary Cutlack on at

Artists working deep undercover have penetrated the Neues Museum in Berlin -- by purchasing a ticket -- and secretly 3D-scanned the famed bust of Queen Nefertiti in order to build an extremely accurate replica for a rival museum in Cairo. If museums can indeed be rivals with each other.

The two artists say they're responding to the alleged act of plunder performed on the tombs of Egypt by archaeologists in the early 20th century, when the artefact was taken by German cultural miners. To further undermine the Berlin exhibit, artists Nora al-Badri and Jan Nikolai Nelles plan to release their shadily obtained 3D Nefertiti data online, meaning anyone with access to a 3D printer could bash out a copy for their mantelpiece or, seeing as it's 2016, monitor stand.

Nelles told The Times that: "The Berlin museum monopolises the bust and thus continues an imperial practice, instead of allowing open access to Nefertiti, especially for Egyptians," also claiming that Nefertiti's head is symbolic of the "millions of stolen and looted artefacts" that attract paying visitors and funnel them into overpriced shops and cafes the world over. [The Times via Telegraph]

Image credit: Nefertiti from Shutterstock


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