CAIRO – 22 September 2020: Renowned Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass said that Brigitte Goebzel's claims that Egypt has not submitted an official request to restore Nefertiti's head statue for decades, is not true at all, stressing that Goebzel, the press and information officer at the Cultural Heritage Foundation in charge of the affairs of state museums in Berlin, clearly knows nothing about this matter.
Hawass explained in press statements, that in 2010, he, as secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities at the time, sent an official letter after obtaining the approval of the former Prime Minister.
Hawass added that the letter was officially sent to retrieve Nefertiti's head statue, and that was not the first official letter sent to Germany, as there was a request from one of the Egyptian governments in the last century, but it was not met.
“The German government sent a response to my letter, demanding that it be signed by the Minister of Culture.By the time the letter had reached me, I was Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities. The circumstances that Egypt experienced at that time did not give me the opportunity to sign the letter again, in my ministerial capacity,” Said Hawass.
“The press and media officer at the Cultural Heritage Foundation in charge of the affairs of state museums in Berlin is a liar, because we sent the letter and I confirm that Nefertiti's head was stolen from Egypt, and it must be returned.”
“That is why I am currently forming a team of Egyptian and international thinkers and intellectuals, to sign an official letter, which will be sent to Germany, far from the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, to assert the necessity of the return of Nefertiti's head statue.
There is now a global awakening in the world that Europe and America stole the antiquities of Africa, and even French President Emanuel Macron said that it is time for the antiquities that were stolen from Africa during the colonial period to return, and therefore we want to take advantage of that awakening and return Nefertiti's head statue,” Hawass clarified.
Queen Nefertiti shared the rule of Egypt with her husband, King Akhenaten in the period from 1336 to 1353 BC [Eighteenth Dynasty]. The queen reserved the throne for the young King Tutankhamun after the death of her husband.
The head statue left Egypt after a German archaeological mission headed by Egyptologist Ludwig Borchardt visited Cairo and took over the archaeological excavations in Tell el-Amarna area under a contract with the Egyptian government.
Indeed, Borchardt and his assistant Hermann Rank found the half-statue of Nefertiti in an area near Tal el-Amarna, on December 6, 1912.