Egypt has submitted an official request to Germany to return a bust of Nefertiti displayed in a Berlin Museum, following a series of meetings between Egyptian culture officials, international law experts and archeologists who said Egypt may rightfully request the bust.
A statement published by the Culture Ministry on Monday said that the government submitted the request after Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif, Culture Minister Farouk Hosni and Supreme Council of Antiquities chief Zahi Hawass agreed to retrieve the bust.
Hawass said that Egypt is keen to recover all ancient artifacts that have been illegally smuggled out of the country, especially rare ones.
The 3300-year-old Nefertiti bust tops the list of artifacts that Egypt hopes to retrieve as part of a campaign to retrieve thousands of antiquities taken during and since the colonial era.
The bust is one of six rare artifacts that Egypt wants sent back from international museums.
The official request is based on a UNESCO agreement that bans the illegal export, import and transport of cultural properties. It calls on all parties to cooperate in order to facilitate the return of such items to their lawful owners as quickly as possible.
Germany has declined Egypt's previous requests for the bust's return, saying it is in Germany legally and is too fragile to move. Egypt, meanwhile, says it was taken out of the country using fraudulent documents
Translated from the Arabic Edition.