CAIRO – Egypt is officially requesting the return of the 3,300-year-old bust of Queen Nefertiti that has been in a Berlin museum for decades.
The bust, dating back to the 14th century B.C. monarch, tops Egypt’s wish list of artifacts the country hopes to bring back as part of a campaign to retrieve thousands of antiquities spirited out during the colonial period and afterward.
Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities on Monday quoted its chief, Zahi Hawass, as saying an official request was sent to German authorities.
Germany has declined past Egyptian requests for the bust’s return, saying it was in Germany legally and is too fragile to move. The bust is currently at Berlin’s Neues Museum.
Egypt contends it was taken out with fraudulent documents in the early 20th century.