Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Ka Nefer Nefer Mask: a review of its acquisition

I have now reviewed the available correspondence and memoranda for the acquisition (and related due diligence process) of the Ka Nefer Nefer mask purchased by the St Louis Art Museum. There is clearly new evidence that has not been discussed before and that did not appear to form part of the legal cases that concluded in 2014.

I am grateful to numerous colleagues who have assisted in pointing me to leads - and for making helpful comments.

The key questions are as follows:
a. What was the reported collecting history of the mask as known at the point of acquisition by SLAM?
b. How was the emerging collecting history (and documentation) verified?
c. How did SLAM curatorial staff respond to the February 1999 revelation that the mask had been excavated at Saqqara? Did they contact the Egyptian SCA?
d. Did SLAM curatorial staff contact Dr Zahi Hawass and the SCA when allegations were made about how the mask surfaced?
e. When was the identifying personal name removed from the hand on the mask?

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