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Neues Museum Berlin opens Queen Nefertiti exhibition

Neues Museum in Berlin presents In the Light of Amarna. 100 Years of the Find of Nefertiti, an exhibition on view Fri 7 December 2012 – Sat 13 April 2013.

Bust of Queen Nefertiti

On the 6 December 1912 the bust of Queen Nefertiti was excavated in Tell el-Amarna. To mark this anniversary 100 years later the Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (Na- tional Museums in Berlin) will be presenting a special exhibition not only on that famous bust but also to illuminate all aspects of the fascinating Amarna period. “In the Light of Amarna – 100 years of the Find of Nefertiti“ will be on display in the Neues Museum from 7 December 2012 to 13 April 2013. The exhibition focuses on never seen before discoveries from the collections of the Berlin museum, supplemented by loans from other mu- seums abroad.

The name ‘Amarna’ refers to the ruins of the ancient Egyptian city of Ak- hetaton, which today is known as Tell el-Amarna. This city was founded by Pharaoh Akhenaten (Amenhotep IV, 1351 – 1334 BC) in order to es- tablish a new capital with places of worship for his own ‘religion of light’, whose sole deity was the god Aton. The city was built in a short time and populated around 1346 BC. In the course of the gradual recollection on old religious tradition under Tutanchamun, Achet-Aton was slowly abandoned around 1331 BC. At the beginning of the 20th century, ex- tremely successful excavations took place in Tell el-Amarna under the direction of Ludwig Borchardt and financed by the patron James Simon. Amongst the 7,000 and 10,000 archaeological objects was this colourful bust of Queen Nefertiti. In the course of the then customary sharing of finds between the „Service des Antiquités“ (Cairo) and the excavators approx. 5,500 objects made their way to Berlin.

The era of the royal couple Akhenaten and Nefertiti is brought to life by approx. 1.300 exhibits in their cultural-historical context. Not only the fre- quently examined aspects of art and theology of that period are focused on, but also the everyday life in the metropolis is placed at the centre of attention. The exhibition illuminates the archaeological issues of the exca- vation of the bust of Nefertiti and its find context in the sculpture workshop of the ancient Egyptian craftsman Thutmosis. Along with the exhibition’s main focus on archaeology it also investigates the history of the depiction of the bust of Nefertiti both as an archaeological object and as a widely marketed ideal of beauty.

Neues Museum Bodestraße 1-3 10178 Berlin