The mysteries of the Nefertiti bust


it's the 16th of October 2009 in the

east of Berlin the newly restored Noah's

museum is about to reopen the museum

houses the finest collection of Egyptian

artifacts in Germany but the biggest

draw is the arrival of one of Egypt's

most famous Queens the bust of Nefertiti

it's a masterpiece

that had been on display in the old

museum in Berlin for 20 years now

Nefertiti is moving homes to become the

star attraction in the neues Museum

I think it's an absolute masterpiece and

certainly timeless

it really is perfection and full of

aesthetic value one sees the perfect

beauty where does it come from

is she Diddy's asuka's the life made her

a star [ __ ] still easy attached so it's

a little like the Mona Lisa morally

sound it is the icon of the Egyptian


Nefertiti is over 3,000 years old

tremendous care is taken to ensure no

damage is done to the flawless face the

cheese in such good condition is one of

the enigmas in the history of

archaeological discoveries


but the party is spoiled by some news

from Geneva that is widely reported in

the media that the bust of Nefertiti is

a fake the controversial claim comes

after a 20-year long inquiry conducted

by author and historian Artie sterile on

Lucas's I've no doubt in my mind that

this is a fake a copy a phony or a model

for more yoker dude what first made the

academic suspicious was the exceptional

state of conservation of Nefertiti's

bust when it was discovered the object

was incongruous it bore no resemblance

to any other three thousand three

hundred year old busts from egypt to

historian re stella the bust of

Nefertiti is simply too well-preserved

or as he puts it too new to be true then

there is a second bust found lying

alongside that of Nefertiti

it's a bust of her husband the Pharaoh

Akhenaten and it's completely disfigured

Why should there be such a difference in

the condition of the busts which were

found at the same time at the same place

so is Nefertiti a fake in montpellier in

southern France archaeologist and

Egyptologist mock gabbled who is also an

expert on Nefertiti considers sterile

lands claims I have to say he was right

to ask the question but the arguments

he's provided aren't necessarily

sufficient and even if he can give me

some strong scientific arguments that it

is a forgery then I would accept it

there's certainly some doubts after him

it in the basements of the neues Museum

in Berlin a news conference is being

held the journalists are taking notes

but there are no questions about the

charges of authenticity in Germany such

accusations are considered taboo because

the bust discovered a century ago in

Egypt by german archaeologist Ludwig

Borchardt has now become a symbol in

Germany nevertheless we did ask a

question to noise museum director

Frederika Seyfried state when you stand

before the past the question never even

enters your mind it goes without saying

it's authentic the real question is why

would it be a thing I'm a felon

numerous archaeologists Americans

Italians French have expressed their

doubts about whether the must is genuine

but none of them have made their doubts

official so we've decided to stage our

own inquiry you see everyone's been very

circumspect no one has dared come right

out and openly declare the object to be

a faithful


so is the most famous bust of ancient

Egypt of Foley to find out we met with

the greatest experts subjected the bus

to a lie detector and retraced history

what we uncovered during our inquiry

will forever change your opinion about

Egypt's most mysterious Queen and her

likeness the bust of Nefertiti


who was Nefertiti it's one of the great

mysteries of Egypt's pharaonic past

generations of archaeologists have

scoured through all the monuments gone

through each hieroglyphic on each column

and temple war in an attempt to find the

slightest evidence of our existence

archaeologists went up the Nile as far

as Karnak searching one of the country's

largest religious centers for any traces

of Queen Nefertiti in this labyrinth of

columns and temples they finally found

the first image of the Queen


it was chiseled directly into a stone

from a now lost temple but nothing is

known of Nefertiti's origins

she was probably Egyptian almost

certainly the wife of the famous 18th

dynasty pharaoh the great Akhenaten


Nefertiti was the principle wife of

Akhenaten she was the only one who had

the rights to the title great spouse of

the king

we know the Queen's sisters and we know

of her nurse but we know nothing about

the origins of Nefertiti's family to be

honest I'd have to say we don't know

she's the queen of Egypt of whom we have

the most representations and documents

but also the one with whom we know the

least it's not known who Nefertiti's

parents were but what's striking is her

remarkable beauty with a face that at

first appears so contemporary it's

thanks to her husband Akhenaten for

heretic and rebel that her name has

survived the Pharaoh has gone down in

history for having imposed at on the son

God as the only deity and getting rid of

the rest of the many Egyptian gods

during his reign in the eighteenth

dynasty Akhenaten has new temples built

many of them open to the skies to allow

the sun's beneficial rays to shine

through in his new religion Akhenaten

develops a cult of the personality as he

and the Sun God gradually become the

same being


Nefertiti and Akhenaten were also the

most romantic of all the pharaonic

couples their love for each other began

at a very young age on these statuaries

their age has given us 14 for the first

time the people witnessed to adolescents

masters of an empire holding hands

they're portrayed as being very much in

love all the more astonishing and all

the images of the king and queen

embracing Sir William ya Kenna Tomas

they are depicted on the royal chariot

I cannot on is kissing Nefertiti the

queen is shown placing a necklace around

the Kings neck and he seizes the moment

to give her a peck on the cheek it's a

very intimate moment and must reflect a

true love story decorum


in the seventh year of their reign

Akhenaten and Nefertiti relocate from

Karnak and set up at tell el-amarna

in the middle of the desert there they

build a new royal city they call acket

at on which means the sun's horizon the

most famous couple in the history of

Egypt lived in a modern city that was

built quickly with space for 50,000

inhabitants a city dotted with temples

that had no rules Akhenaten and

Nefertiti spent much of their time

worshiping the Sun God

but the reign of Akhenaten and Nefertiti

will last only seventeen years after

their deaths their successors will

destroy all trace of their existence and

dismantled the palaces brick by brick in

less than 30 years the city will

disappear back into the desert

Simca Putin you might say it's the

Pompeii of the sands when you dig

through the buildings from the 18th

dynasty the only time they were occupied

was during the era of Akhenaten so just

over 15 years and it's on a real

snapshot of life in Egypt back then well

not enough stopping it don't over yet

it was in this five by ten kilometer

rectangle of desert that on the 6th of

December 1912 the bust of Nefertiti

emerged whole from the middle of nowhere

Ludwig Borchardt

was born in Berlin in 1863 he became the

most famous archaeologist of his day

Egypt its monuments and architecture

fascinated borchardt in 1906 the german

archaeologist organizes a dig in the

remains of Akhenaten's city a ghost town

according to some at the site of a

terrible act of vandalism to the

archeologists Borchardt is a real sleuth

and is persuaded he'll make the

discovery of the century and on the 6th

of December 1912 surrounded by his team

he will uncover the find of a lifetime

celebrated bust of Nefertiti the

statuette carved from limestone was

found just fifty centimeters below some

gravel Borchardt has resurrected a

remarkably lifelike and Technicolor


but how did archaeologists borchardt

make this masterpiece appear out of

nowhere before the arrival of the german

Akhenaten's ancient city had been the

virtual preserve of the British and

their chief archaeologist sir Flinders

Petrie who had led major excavations on

the site in 1891 and 1892 they had open

tombs unearth the Magnificent frescoes

of senior officials and uncovered the

foundations of palaces but they had

never come across anything like the

Magnificent bust of Nefertiti

so when Bohr shuts archaeological

expedition showed up it made the British

sneer they're convinced the German will

find absolutely nothing Flinders Petrie

was already there he stopped I think at

the end of the 19th century working

Intel alarm honor and for him he was

through he had the idea it is done and

nobody has food there's nothing to find

anymore but I mean as we know this was

not true for Karki came to amana

initially because he saw it as a major

source of information on domestic

architecture but at the back of his mind

was the fact that he had close

connections with the Berlin Museum and

he rather wanted something spectacular

to bring back to Berlin

at the beginning of the 20th century

Egypt was the world's largest hunting

ground for archeologists Prussia had

lagged behind in the race for treasures

Kaiser William ordered borchardt to

return with a trophy

whatever the cost before excavations

begin the clever archaeologist seeks the

advice of Cairo's leading antiquarians

many of whom do business with looters

he's told that part of Akhenaten's

ancient city has yet to be excavated


borchardt is also an architect before

arriving he drawn up floor plans for the

southeast sector

once inhabited by artisans but untouched

by both the British and the looters


etcetera dita he's interested in housing

starts digging through the larger villas

these can be distinguished on the site

by the small mounds later he extends the

dig to include all the house

and by an extraordinary stroke of luck

he uncovers the offices and the house of

the sculptor Moses one of the highlights

of its excavation I saw a beautiful

borchardt soon realizes he's come across

a property that includes several

sculptors studios


excited the archaeologist decides to dig

through every square inch of the gardens

and behind the silos he identifies the

house of the senior craftsmen formosus

the personal sculptor of Akhenaten and

Nefertiti and it was here that Borchardt

is said to have found the bust


intrigued we retrace the steps one

century later archaeologist Ludvig

borchardt and search out the house where

the bust was discovered tell el-amarna

is a five hour drive south of Cairo

I cannot on the Nefertiti's ghost town

joining us is Luke Vuitton an expert in

ancient Egyptian works of art who is

employed by the courts to identify

forged pieces Egyptian archaeologists

Amada is the Inspector General of the

dig at tell el-amarna well here as you

can see is Borchardt report in

exhibition see as you can see this is

the official report made after the

excavation by bo Chaddha


look Vitara has an exceptional document

the notes and sketches of archaeologists

looked at Borchardt

in which he writes extensively of his

discovery of the bust in 1912

the document will prove invaluable in

tracing the exact spot where Nefertiti's

bust was uncovered

look Patrick now we arrived to the house

of Tatas this is very important house

which we find this which word heart in 6

December 1912 find the basket

this is what remains 3,300 years later

of the studio of fat Moses the chief

sculptor it's in one of these rooms at

Borchardt the german archaeologist

reportedly found the bust with a map

archaeologists lukovitch ha interprets

the site and all I think more this is

quite moving because this is the villas

reception room it's almost certain this

is where the owner would have

entertained his special guests senior

official Queen Nefertiti herself and if

you leave the room in that direction

yeah we get to the sculptor studio and

behind the door and Borchardt notes are

very precise about this it's right here

in this corner that he found the bust of

the Queen so according to Borchardt

Nefertiti was here buried for more than

3,200 years yet still so realistic but

that's not all because the house of

Akhenaten senior sculptor turns out to

be filled with treasures

Borgia discovers other pieces the finest

collection of busts from the period

plaster masks strangely lifelike and

models of Studios like our inner tones a

model that's incomplete and the famous

bust of Akhenaten himself found lying

next to Nefertiti's hood Vic Borchardt

donates all his finest trophies to the

Museum in Berlin but in all this

archaeological fairy tale there's one

detail that grabs the attention of a

historian it's an element that will

spark an investigation worthy of a

detective novel


in his colonial-style house in Cairo

Ludwig Borchardt will take more than ten

years before he publishes the complete

report on his digs at tell el-amarna he

tells how he found the limestone bust of

Nefertiti and another bust also in

limestone found alongside of the pharaoh

akhenaten its face ripped apart in his

topographical notes [ __ ] takes great

care to note the location of the bust of

Nefertiti he also marked where the

disfigured must've Akhenaten had been

found according to his drawings the bust

of Nefertiti was on a shelf in a corner

of the studio the bust of Akhenaten was

the first to be found on the floor near

the entrance to the left but the passage

of time caused the outer wall to crumble

and the bust of Nefertiti with it


Akhenaten's bust was found in several

pieces while strangely Nefertiti's was

intact almost as if it had just left the

sculptor studio the whole story was pure

deception made up by bore shot that was

the conclusion of Swiss historian

artisteer Lam who had investigated the

case for 20 years he questions bore

shots report and concludes that

Nefertiti was quote simply too beautiful

to be authentic come on [ __ ] we've gone

up juicy how's it possible that such a

heavy object such a delicate objects a

finely painted what could have fallen

like four shot claims from a shelf about

a meter and a half from the floor onto

stones without being damaged especially

since he claims it fell facedown first

caught and then he says it's such a

delicate object I mean it's hardly

possible that only the ears were damaged

and besides the ears wouldn't even have

hit the floor when the object

when his inquiry began in 1984 at least

Ellen expressed his doubts to Dietrich

fielding one of the greatest German

archaeologists and beyond all reproach

at the time the director of the Museum

in Munich building had studied the bus

for many years and shares dear lands

doubts he had written a letter to still

on those who were let Kimmy do well in

the letter that he wrote he said my

project was valid persuasive

let me quote you word for word he writes

Lucy Cooper Toyland

in other words convincing and coherent

in the letter dieter vildan also admits

to his own suspicions about the state of

conservation of the Nefertiti bust and

that its style was not consistent with

the Akhenaten period and that he was

even willing to write the introduction

to his report then in 1989 his name the

curator of the bust of Nefertiti

and makes a dramatic you turn suddenly

sends me another letter in which he says

he's been named the director of the

Berlin museum where the Nefertiti

Buster's house and the whole issue and

that he was distancing himself from the

inquiry and therefore could no longer

get involved but to me the most worrying

thing was when two representatives came

down from Berlin to persuade me to stop

my research than will discredit

continuing my share the story on every

Stalin is not someone who is easily

intimidated and will continue his

relentless investigation albeit now

totally isolated

fascinated by the story we head back to

Berlin for a meeting with Dietrich

fiddled on on the eve of our interview

the archaeological expert decides to

cancel we call back pretending we

haven't received his message mr.

Dietrich yes I'm calling because we have

a meeting arranged for tomorrow about

Nefertiti I wanted to know what time we

can get together I sent an email out

today in which I absolutely refuse to

talk about that object otherwise I might

have serious difficulties will later

learn that the German authorities have

formally forbidden air-filled them to

talk about Nefertiti's bust or to

mention our least air lands research

to the historian the bust of Nefertiti

was the result of an experiment

[ __ ] had a copy of the bust made

because he wanted to examine sculpting

techniques on plaster and in particular

how the Egyptians had used color in fact

he had at his disposal materials that

had been found during the excavations at

tell el-amarna

we had everything on site sure no blood

you know plasters fairly easy to make

and it's impossible to date and the

stone it's made from is found all over

Egypt it's the country of limestone we

can use a large piece of limestone and

then make it the size you need

after that you put the plaster on and

then let the sculpt to do his work and

make a good copy

he had a great number of faces he could

copy from authentic objects that had

been found to be teak like this bust an

unfinished but authentic model of

Nefertiti which was also discovered in

third Moses's studio it has traces of

carbon showing what still needed to be

sculpted did Borgia use a model like

this one found on site which he then had


rocki Borchardt is very precise in his

notes from the dick he states he found

large quantities of pigments adding they

were all still quite usable but if this

was an experimental copy how is it bore

shots never spoke of it to his team nor

in his meticulous notes according to the

historian on the 5th of December 1912

the archaeologist was in Cairo he learns

that one of Germany's princely families

is passing through and wants to visit

his archeological digs caught unprepared

Borchardt rushes back to tell el-amarna

he arrives on the 6th of December 1912

which was meant to be a day off for his

workers he immediately sets them back to



later he proudly shows their Highnesses

the fruits of his labor in an excess of

zeal one of the dick foremen an Egyptian

called Sanusi disappears briefly during

the visit then returns with a bust of

Nefertiti the Royals are delighted with

such a masterpiece and a photograph

immortalizes the moment leaving

Borchardt apparently no time to explain

it was a copy and not the real thing at

least their land claims the photo is

what trapped the archaeologists


you couldn't just tell that all visitors

who are infusing over the object listen

you're mistaken it's it's ridiculous it

would make a mockery of the Royal it was

simply not possible to tell the truth or

the Rawls might have been covered in

ridicule and that would have been leis

Majesty or treason which at the time was

very serious indeed and could have

ruined borscht arts career and life for

good after the Rawls left the bust

mysteriously disappears for almost 11


borchardt reportedly gave it to his

sponsor James Simon it was the wealthy

industrialist who had financed part of

his expedition to tell el-amarna they

were so excited James when he got the

message that they'd found this beautiful

figure and it was I'm sure a great

anticipation here in Berlin waiting for

it to come back and the bus sat on his

coffee table you know for almost 10

years sitting in his home from 1912 to

1924 Borchardt systematically refuses to

show the Queen in public


with a bow from a tipper who you can't

go at first I didn't realize the missing

I was such an insult to her image and

dignity through shorter simple clear

song imagine a one-eyed Nefertiti

definitely a crime of treason and

sacrilege against the pharaonic image of

the great queen of Egypt to find out

more we visit the University of liège in

Belgium there Dmitry LaBrie one of the

greatest specialists of the art and

archaeology of ancient Egypt gives us

his expert opinion it's a tool like an

artist dummy a studio monitor used so

the sculptor can reproduce faithful

copies of the officially sanctioned

image of Nefertiti that had been

approved by Akhenaten and probably

Nefertiti herself

the bust and many others like it were

says professor library communication

tools the official portrait of the Queen

had to be instantly recognizable to the

priests and the people in both upper and

lower egypt

as to the fact one eye was missing

according to the experts that was purely

another model to show the exact depth it

was necessary to sculpt to correctly

inlay Nefertiti's eyes

Dimitry l'amore says the robust was a

typical studio model of the Akhenaten

family style


if you look at Akhenaten's mouth and you

look at the mouths of the Armani and the

princesses and you look at the mouth of

Nefertiti's father-in-law they're shaped

differently but it's in the same sensual

and aesthetical manner the key argument

in favor of the bus authenticity has in

fact been disproved by one of Germany's

best Egyptologists Ralph Krauss escaped

American what we know is that the bus

was made according to a distinct set of


not just any proportions but those of

the Egyptian finger Sunland Inc and

Allah's malicious roster in Britain and

the USA the foot and the inch are used

in the measuring system the Egyptians

used the finger as a point of reference

to create a new buster a nut on sculptor

is believed to have first drawn up a

reference grid for sculptors all across

Egypt each line was based on the width

of a finger the bust of Nefertiti had to

correspond to these measurements Roth

Krauts also proved how certain cross

sections systematically correspond to

precise facial anatomical points the

base of the nose for example of the

mouth in this way the length of the face

would be calibrated with the base of the

chin to the headdress she's made based

on a grid of proportions calculated on

the Egyptian unit of measurement of one

point eight seven five centimeters the

Egyptian finger she's built metrically

but the counterfeiter at the time would

have had to know how to use the egyptian

centimeter and not the modern one

the proportional grid would have allowed

standardized production of the bust of

Nefertiti across Egypt apparently the

forgers at the start of the 19th century

were not aware of this but there's yet

another anomaly that is further proof

the bust as a fake the shoulders that

are cut vertically the arms on the bust

were cut vertically and apart from some

very rare exceptions it's just not

something you see in Egyptian art busts

cut horizontally at the level of the

shoulders and not vertically is the bust

of Nefertiti with its shoulders cut

vertically the only artwork of its kind

in Egyptian history to seek an answer

it's back to Berlin's noise museum

the director Frau Seyfried says there is

one other example of a bust cut

vertically it's this one also discovered

by Borchardt in 1912 and part of a

collection of objects that's never been

put on public display upset at the

scandal created by stare lands book Frau

Seyfried rummage through the entire

storage of the museum to find the famous

bust or at least what's left of it yes

it is possible to see are there examples

of bus with cut shoulders vertically

this one is from the excavations at tell

el-amarna you can still see the line

that shows the central axis and you can

clearly see the shoulders cut like the

colored queens so a second bust does

exist with the same cuts of the

shoulders in the spat between experts is

this a sufficiently strong argument to

finally prove the authenticity of Queen

Nefertiti in Berlin the neues museum in

an effort put an end to the rumor mill

once and for all has decided to submit

the bust of Nefertiti to a lie-detector

test can science finally prove it's

genuine the bust has been transferred to

a hospital in Berlin to undergo a


what Nefertiti has in her brain may

finally be revealed the first

observation is the bust is made up of a

limestone lump a lump covered in the

plaster a method that allowed the

sculptor or counterfeiter to change

certain parts of the bust


it's proof Nefertiti was altered

see here yeah you can clearly see the

shoulder viewed from behind the white

part is limestone what you see below it

in gray is plaster put on after the

skull holes finished it's been added to

make some Corrections to it and what's

absolutely clear from the rear view is

that the right shoulder is higher than

the left one plaster had been used to

correct and reinforce the curve of the

neck of the limestone Nefertiti bust and

the sculptor had even altered the cheeks

and cheekbones as well as the bridge of

the nose by adding some plaster there

too was this the world's first facelift


but other than some evidence of plaster

surgery what do the x-rays prove

a tomography the tomography isn't

definitive proof by cutting out samples

from inside the object you cannot prove

when it was made you can only states

there's a stone interior there's a layer

of plaster that's been sculpted as to

when we just can't tell tell my cat

forget it

I can't tell using this method that the

bust is 3,300 years old what about the

plaster itself used to cover the

limestone Nefertiti does it date from

the time of Akhenaten the Germans took a

sample from the Basten had it analyzed

by a chemist a specialist in ancient

Egyptian objects


that is a stroke even awesome several

elements were found in the sample of

plaster that existed only in the armand

yin period or a little earlier the same

as in the architecture and the masks

which means the plaster mix was an

invention from that era the composition

of the plaster is typical from the

Amarna period in other words the plaster

that covers the bust of Nefertiti is

indeed of the type used by Egyptians

more than three thousand years ago when

the bust was discovered they had no way

of knowing what constituents were in the

plaster the technology that allows such

analysis wasn't developed until the

1950s a counterfeiter would have had no

way of knowing the plasters composition

he might though have used plaster found

during the archeological dig in 1912

for now though there's no way of being

sure there's one other scientific way to

test Nefertiti's authenticity for

pigments which make the busts so vivid

imitate skin color so accurately and

make the mouth so sensual

four colors dominate art in Egypt

blue green ochre and yellow each

dynasties artists however had their own

techniques to mix and use pigments by

analyzing the pigments found at tell


can the bus to be finally authenticated

foodie pigment Oh as artists ORS the

analysis of the pigments showed us that

the colors were indeed those used in

ancient Egypt deal and that the

technique of preparing the pigments with

an abandoned during this period warm

here to the forger could have cheated

because as you may remember [ __ ]

when he discovered Nefertiti in the

studio of thirty Moses had also

uncovered a treasure trove of pigments

of all colors


there were yellows reddish ochres light

ochres and the renowned lapis lazuli

blue ice-t hunt back up by the end of

Akhenaten's reign the sculptors and

artisan band and their studios in tell

el-amarna they took with them only the

more important things knowing house

didn't there's a large part of their

reserves of pigments of course but they

would have left behind quite a few

enough pigments maybe to decorate a

queen so is Nefertiti real or a fake the

experts have no doubt all the scientific

and historic tests are categorical the

materials are all authentic but there

remains one issue a contradiction a


none of the materials with which it's

made allow the bust to be dated


no technology exists that contain stone

sculptures the Technicolor queen of

eternal youth will therefore continue to

defy science for years to come and like

all the great ladies of history conceal

her age in the early part of the 20th

century enthusiastic amateurs played at

being explorers following in the

footsteps of the archaeologists the

discovery of the bust of Nefertiti by

Ludwig Borchardt sparked a particular

craze for all objects dating from the

period of Akhenaten


unfortunately they were very rarely

available but it meant the forgers would

be kept busy


at around this time in Cairo a certain

aiming brooch starts a lucrative

business he provides artists with

genuine articles which they then copy or

use to make fakes


it's almost too easy since at the time

Brooke was in charge of the shop at the

Museum of Antiquities in Cairo Berlin

period for a while the museum would

allow its staff members particularly the

restorers to take some of the objects

home with them to study them as it were

some of the restorers became remarkably

accomplished forgers today their

identity is largely unknown apart from

some rare photographs such as this 1910

image of two known counterfeiters one is

Paulo Dingley from Malta variously a

painter sculptor and forger Dingley

exercised his skills at home curiously

Ludwig Borchardt was known to visit him

on a regular basis one of more shots

responsibilities was to act as a buyer

for museums back in Germany in some room

that's in those days forgery was a

flourishing business so it was crucial

not to buy the wrong things off sits

Deardon and watches a Milan right of

emitted there were many forgers back

then and today it's difficult to

calculate how much counterfeit stuff

they produced yet the question remains

about whether some museums are still

displaying some of their fakes escaped

cane was your mouth David that's there's

not one Museum anywhere in the world

that doesn't have forgeries the quality

of some of the fakes was exceptionally

high and there are no guarantees that

even the experts wouldn't be taken in we

all have something in stock that in

museums but it's keep it as feral

fakes that for the most part date back

to the 1920s modern Cairo and it's 16

million inhabitants are there still

forgers as talented as the earlier

generation in the city to get the answer

we contacted one of them luke vaca an

archaeologist and an expert on forgeries

comes with us as we head out of Cairo

towards Memphis so we're going to

Memphis which is 25 kilometers south of

Cairo it's an area that has many studios

where some of Egypt's best forgers live

work it might be risky and we have to be

careful but by speaking Arabic we should

be able to win their trust fairly easily

I still in conferences here people

the counterfeiters headquarters in the

Cairo suburbs is at meats rohini a poor

area where no tourists ever goes to

establish contact for the forgers we

pretend to be buyers acting on behalf of

rich collectors Madea doesn't have his

own studio yet he works from home

at the moment he's working with

limestone he suggests sculpting a small

pharaoh's head in less than 10 minutes


you see how fast it is look at the

technique is using and the points of

reference he uses the limestone he's

chosen is very soft

using a simple rasp moodier completes

his demonstration in just a few minutes


then he soaks the sculpture in water to

make the veins and the limestone stand

out the result is convincing one can

just imagine what this young forger

could achieve over two months working in

granite or other type of rock copying

from an original work that's good isn't

asking whether if I bring him an

original work you could make an exact

copy of it yes I can copy it no problem

I can show you something I've done

already to convince us he would make a

good supplier

mudiay shows us a bust in rose granite

which he's using to sharpen his skills

and which he's copied just from a


the stone Medea is using is 3,000 years

old it would certainly fool the experts

but where does it come from how can you

get hold of stone that dates back to the

time of the Pharaohs

the answer lies a short distance from

Moody's house these are the ruins of a

temple that dates back to the time of

ramses ii it's not the only one it's

just part of the great temple of path

from the ramses period the site lies

abandoned and unsupervised in the center

of Mithra hina an open-air mine for the

forgers the remains of ancient Egypt are

there for the picking in a few years

nothing will be left everything will

have been pillaged just forgeries

sculpted from the legs of Ramses the

second door in this column of

hieroglyphics these at least are genuine

Berlin March 2011 18 months after the

opening of the noise museum visitors

flock in their thousands to see the best

ambassador Egypt has ever sent to

Germany Queen Nefertiti the Germans very

own Mona Lisa but on the far side of the

Mediterranean the latest success of the

star exhibit at the neues has stirred

anger and renewed nationalist sentiments

at the end of the main gallery of

Cairo's big museum the most powerful man

in the world of Egyptology has agreed to

be interviewed in the hall dedicated to

the great Pharaoh Akhenaten and his wife

Nefertiti he doesn't mince his words for

almost two years

we studied everything until we have a

proof that the bust of Nefertiti in

Berlin was taking illegally out of Egypt

the bust of Nefertiti should be in this

museum and not in Berlin did the Germans

steal the bust of Nefertiti Zahi Hawass

has made a serious charge at the start

of the 20th century the custom was that

objects found during digs were equally

divided between the archaeologists and

the state of Egypt

but Zahi Hawass the secretary-general of

the Supreme Council of Antiquities in

Egypt says Ludwig Borchardt cheated when

it came to Nefertiti in that time there

was a protocol that anything for kings

and queens to be discovered that Amarna

cannot leave Egypt according to the

Germans on the 17th of January 1913 the

staff Lefevre leaves Cairo for tell

el-amarna the excavations had already

ended a month before every object the

Germans had found had been inventoried

labeled and packed ready to leave for

the Museum in Berlin Ludwig Borchardt is

waiting for Lefevre the German is

nervous scared that the Frenchman might

confiscate his prized possession Queen



we know what happened that evening

thanks to Bruna Goethe Bach an

eyewitness to the dividing of the spoils

and one of war shots colleagues he

described what happened in detail in a

letter so Goethe box says the cases were

opened and they looked through

everything I wasn't there and neither

were you

so we can't say this is what really took

place but Gustav Lefevre made his

choices in Kabul that Lefevre wouldn't

have realized that this object had to

absolutely remain in Egypt scandal is

revealed by Rolf Krause the former

curator of the Egyptian Museum in Berlin

decides to reveal the details of how the

objects were shared

he claims Lefevre never examined the

contents of the packing cases and that

he was never shown the photo of Queen


but another photo instead

juda boxart lefeber pootabuck works the

fav had seen a bad photo of Nefertiti

one which showed only a part of the bus

the nose the mouth and the eyes are not

the whole bust of a nifty guns a booster

in photo and the photograph was dark was

looked clear it was not colored like

today what lefeber allegedly saw then

was a photo of Nefertiti without her

royal headdress and necklace resembling

a princess rather than a queen yet the

fair did have the possibility of better

judging the pieces by taking them out of

the travelling cases that way he would

have discovered the splendid bust of

Nefertiti dunwood elephant in the smart

seeing of the favor was taken towards

the cases but he'd never asked for the

objects to be taken out he not seeing

laquanda used to listen couldn't know

was such a beautiful object her heart

tried his best to hide the beauty of the

statue and he took it out of Egypt

illegally did Borgia trick LaFave by

showing him an incomplete photo of the

Queen who cheated vidoe obviously bore


archaeologist Rolf Krause believes the

bust of Nefertiti should be in a museum

in Cairo but definitive proof was still