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Zahi Hawass Demands Return of Nefertiti's Bust from Berlin Museum

The iconic statue was taken out of Egypt illegally over a century ago, and has been declared a national treassure by Germany.

Nefertiti Bust

Egyptology extraordinaire, Zahi Hawass, has called on Germany to return the iconic bust of Nefertiti to Egypt, proclaiming that 'Nefertiti's head came out of Egypt illegally', Egypt Independent reports. He made the statement during a visit to Brasilia, Brazil.

The statue dates back to the 14th century BC, when Nefertiti reigned as Queen alongside Pharaoh Akhenaten. A millennia after capturing the hearts of her subjects in Egypt, the bust was discovered during a German excavation team in 1912 and was taken to Germany under what many claim were illegal circumstances. In 1925, it was unveiled to the public at the Berlin Museum, sparking fury in Egypt and leading to the Egyptian government issuing a decision to ban all German excavation missions to Egypt until the bust is returned; the ban is reportedly still in effect until today.

The stunning artefact has garnered huge popularity in Germany and has been famously nicknamed The Lady of Berlin. It is worth noting that Germany has declared that any artefact that's been admitted to its territories for 25 years a national treasure, which includes the bust.

The opinion of Hawass is one shared by many Egyptians who demand the return of Nefertiti's head among other iconic Egyptian artefacts scattered across Europe. Recently, the Grand Egyptian Museum called on the UK to return the Rosetta Stone to Egypt.