Publication Date

May 2012


Who owns antiquities? This question has plagued the global community in recent times and has opened dialogues between former colonial Western countries and their past colonized nations whose property is exhibited. This essay examines the conflicting perspectives of ownership in the repatriation of the Bust of Nefertiti between Berlin, Germany and Egypt. By analyzing the effects of European occupation in Egypt and the Western dominance in foreign cultures during the Age of Imperialism, a moral argument arises questioning the legality of the Bust’s removal. This article will review the historical significance of the Bust of Nefertiti in terms of its original intent as well as its removal to Germany and transformation into a global artwork and how this has affected her proposed return to Egyptian ownership.