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    Germany refuses to return Nefertiti to Egypt

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    Berlin has no plans to return a 3,300-year-old bust of the ancient Egyptian Queen Nefertiti to Egypt, the head of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, Hermann Parzinger, said on Monday.

    Berlin has no plans to return a 3,300-year-old bust of the ancient Egyptian Queen Nefertiti to Egypt, the head of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, Hermann Parzinger, said on Monday.

    "The foundation's stance over the bust's return has not changed. Nefertiti has been and remains the best Egyptian ambassador to Berlin," Parzinger said.

    Earlier the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities demanded that Germany return the statue as it is believed to have been taken out of the country illegally in the early 20th century. Germany however denied the legitimacy of the demand as the letter sent to German authorities had not signed by Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif.

    German Culture Minister Bernd Neumann earlier said the artifact was obtained by legal means and Egypt therefore had no grounds to demand its return.

    Egypt maintains that the priceless limestone bust of Nefertiti, queen of ancient Egypt and wife of monotheistic Pharaoh Akhenaton, was taken out of the country in 1914 using fraudulent documents. It has been on display in Berlin's Neues Museum since 1924.

    Egypt has recently launched an aggressive campaign to return six of the most famous artifacts taken out of the country, the Asharq Alawsat paper has said. The list features the Nefertiti statue and the famous 2,200-year-old Rosetta Stone, which provided the key to deciphering ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs and has been on display at the British Museum since 1802.

    Other objects on the list are the statue of Great Pyramid architect Hemiun kept in the Pelizaeus Museum in the German city of Hildesheim, the bust of Prince Ankhhaf from Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, the Dendera Zodiac from the Louvre in Paris, and the statue of Pharaoh Ramses II in the Turin Museum.

    BERLIN, January 24 (RIA Novosti)

     

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