Monday, December 22, 2014

The Ka Nefer Nefer Mummy Mask: its collecting history

My article on the acquisition of the Ka Nefer Nefer mummy mask by the St Louis Art Museum has been published in The Journal of Art Crime ("The case of the Ka Nefer Nefer mummy mask", vol. 12, 13-25). It discusses previously undisclosed information about when the curatorial team at SLAM became aware of aspects of the collecting history. In particular, there is discussion of the exchanges in 1999 that brought about "new" information about when the mask had first been sighted.

The article is likely to raise issues about the apparent lack of rigour in the due diligence process adopted by SLAM during the acquisition, and the unwillingness to discuss the collecting history with Egyptian authorities when concerns were first raised with SLAM (including with the Director).

I close with this question:
Will professional responsibilities bring the SLAM team to reopen discussions with the Egyptian authorities to ensure the mask's return to Egypt?

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