CAIRO – 6 December 2021: The archaeologist Ludwig Borchardt discovered the head of Nefertiti in Tell el-Amarna, in the sculptor Thutmose's workshop, along with many other busts of Nefertiti on December 6, 1912.
On January 20, 1913, a meeting was held between Ludwig Borchardt and Director of the Inspection of Middle Egypt’s Antiquities Gustav Lefebvre to discuss the division of archaeological discoveries that were found in 1912 between Germany and Egypt.
This used to take place in light of the Antiquities Law at the time, where “equal shares” of the discovered antiquities would go to Egypt and the mission that carried out the excavations. A joint committee headed by a representative of the Antiquities Authority from the Egyptian government oversaw this process.
At that time Borchardt told the director of the Inspection of Middle Egypt’s Antiquities Gustave Lefebvre that the statue was made of gypsum, but it was made of good limestone, and Egyptian law prohibited the exit of any piece made of limestone.
After Lefebvre signed the division agreement, it was also approved by the director of the Antiquities Department at the time, Gaston Maspero. Nefertiti's head statue was then shipped directly to Berlin.
The statue arrived in Germany in the same year, 1913. The head bust was then presented to Henry James Simon, originally a Jewish horse merchant, who later worked in the antiquities trade and was the financier of Borchardt's excavations at Tell el-Amarna. Several other antiquities found during excavations in Tell el-Amarna were also shipped to Berlin Museum.