• Rebecca Watson wrote a new post, Germany Finally Releases Scan of Stolen Egyptian Sculpture, on the site Skepchick 7 months, 2 weeks ago

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    I must be getting nostalgic because this is, like, the tenth update video […]

    • Geographical displacement isn’t exactly great archaeology. But how much can the piece be sent ‘back to Egypt?’
      Which Egypt? Mubarak’s–Nasser’s–Farouk’s– the British protectorate–the Ottoman province–the Arab fiefdom–Alexander the Great’s conquest?
      And even those are starting more than 1,000 years after Nefertiti.
      Yeah, the Germans were probably guilty of a glorified ‘pot dig’ to stock the museum back home. And we’re damn’ lucky the piece wasn’t lost or wrecked during the War. But we can’t expect every portable piece of history to be re-interred for the sake of ‘return.
      No really comfortable solution here. It ain’t right for it to be in Berlin, but its hard to explain just why it feels that way to me.’

      • Trying to tie it to a specific Egyptian politician is spurious. The claim is not that it should belong to a specific Egyptian government regime (though the state would likely be responsible for handling it, in practice). The claim is that it belongs to the wider Egyptian people, to their cultural and geographical heritage. Pharaohs’ tombs are naturally culturally associated with their history, and not with Germany’s. The current German pretense that it’s a natural part of their heritage is clearly silly, a post hoc rationalisation of what was obviously theft. Not theft from an identifiable individual, but from a people at large.

        • But then…do Native American artifacts belong to the European Americans who live on the same territory now? The Egyptian people of today aren’t a sealed-off Shangri-la-ish population. People do move around a lot in 3,000 years.
          Its nitpicking, since they’re a damn’ sight closer than the Germans.

          • That might make sense if there were no identifiable Native Americans left. But in the current context, we can distinguish actual Native Americans from whites. And in Egypt, we can distinguish actual Egyptians (regardless of their complicated heritage) from totally external whites. Your position is just stock-standard colonialism.