Hello, my name is Nofretete, and I was born in Luxor in Egypt.
1912 some archeologists recovered me from this dark grave in the earth and brought me back to light. I, who together with my beloved husband Echnaton were so much fascinated by the divine nature of the sun had to spend 3400 years in the dark. When I was recovered and brought to Berlin, this not only caused a real Egyptomania and Nofretete-cult amongst the ordinary people, but the sun itself started to shine brighter and stronger for happiness to have me back.
The Egyptians were always afraid of my beauty. 3400 years ago they hated my preference of the sun against all the single, little minor gods they were worshipping. Thats why they banned my statue and burried me deep under ground. After the German archeologists under Ludwig Borchardt excavated me 100 years ago in the meter deep dust in Amarna, and brought me back to sunshine, the Egyption authorities several times attempted to get hold of me. They ordered reviews from French lawyers that should proof how the Germans had violated a contract with Egypt and insidiously betrayed them by highjacking me to Berlin. I have to admit, that my escape from Egypt to Berlin did not happened against my own will: Without exchanging words, both Borchardt and myself understood that the Berlin New Museum would provide a more adequate place for me than an Egyptian dust bin. We were afraid that in Egypt, they again would try to hide my beauty from the peoples eyes.
Now, 2012, 100 years after my rebirth, they introduce in Egypt the Sharia, ordering every woman to hide her face and her beauty. Returning to Egypt, wouldn’t they put me under a hijab or a burka, before showing me in the public ? Or will the Salafists who just occupied a couple of parlament seats and governmental posts attack me altogether, destroy me as they did with other statues in Afghanistan and in Mali, because they fear that people will worship my beauty ?
In Berlin in the New Museum, people from all over the world come only to see me, and yes, they worship my beauty. They like me, and I like them, and therefore I will stay in Berlin forever. I am nobodies property, I belong to the entire mankind. But in Berlin they always took care of me, and I know they will do so forever. During the bombings of the 2. world war, when the entire city turned into a pile of debris, they found a safe shelter for me somewhere far away in a mountain village. They were so intrigued by Nofretete, that first emperor Wilhelm II and later the East-German government (who lost me to West-Berlin) both ordered identical copies of my statue.
I am nobodies property, not the Germans and not the Egyptians. But I am and will stay a Berliner. The local people call me a “Berliner Göre”, and although this sounds turkish, it is their slang for “naughty little girl”. Although this of course is a (typical Berlin) understatement of my beauty, I can life with it.