Berlin orders photo ban to save Nefertiti
Friday 19, February 2010
Berlin has banned tourists taking photographs of Queen Nefertiti, amid fears that camera flashes may spoil pigments painted on the limestone and plaster bust, a museum spokeswoman said Thursday. The sculpture in the Neues Museum featuring a delicate skin-tan and perfect eye makeup that make the 3,500-year-old figure look like a contemporary woman, is one of the city's top tourist draws.
The spokeswoman said the previous policy, allowing photographs if the flash was turned off, was changed several weeks ago, "because most visitors were not obeying the ban on flash."
Even if it were not proven that digital-camera flashes faded ancient Egyptian pigments, the ban was necessary as a precaution in case they did, said the spokeswoman at the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, operator of the museum.
She said photography was allowed in other rooms of the museum, which re-opened last October after being gutted by World War II bombs. Egyptian officials have repeatedly challenged Germany's possession of the artefact, first put on public display in 1924.
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