Monday, September 15, 2014

The Ka Nefer Nefer Mask and the Saqqara link

In the spring of 1998 the St Louis Art Museum acquired the Ka Nefer Nefer mask that is now known to have been excavated at Saqqara. In late December 2005 a notice on the Museum Security Network drew attention to that association of find-spot. In January 2006 Brent R. Benjamin, the Director of SLAM, issued a memorandum in which he stated:
The St Louis Post-Dispatch, the Riverfront Times, and the Art Newspaper have made inquiries regarding the provenance of the Museum’s Mummy Mask, acquired in 1998. These inquiries resulted from an allegation, posted on an internet website, that the mask was stolen from storage of a Museum in Saqqarah, Egypt. You may visit the site at http://www.michelvanrijn.nl/artnews/st-louis.htm. In our opinion, it speaks for itself. Michael van Rijn is the proprietor of this website, based in the Netherlands, which is devoted to art theft issues. Mr. van Rijn has supplied no information in support of his accusation.
It should be noted that this website is no longer available.

SLAM needs to release the full set of documentation that would reveal when members of staff in the museum first became aware of the Saqqara association.

Serious questions will need to be raised if it becomes clear that SLAM staff knew about the link months or even years before December 2005 but did not contact the Egyptian authorities.

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1 comment:

Richard Gerrard said...

This page from van Rjin's web site is available through the WayBack Machine of the Internet Archive at https://web.archive.org/web/20060104070442/http://www.michelvanrijn.nl/artnews/st-louis.htm

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