Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Where was Ka Nefer Nefer displayed in Geneva?

Mask excavated at Saqqara
Last week I commented on issues about Sidney Goldstein's explicit statement that the Ka Nefer Nefer mask had been displayed in Geneva's Museum of Art and History. This was stated in a letter to the Cairo Museum apparently prior to acquisition. Indeed the letter has been cited as proof of the rigour of the due diligence process conducted by the curatorial team at the St Louis Art Museum.

It became clear last week that curatorial staff at Geneva's Musées d'art et d'histoire could find no clear record of the mask's display in the museum. Indeed there was a strong rejection of the link between the museum and the mask.

The letter to Cairo has not been placed in the public domain so some of the detail is unclear.

So was Goldstein mistaken? He had presumably been to Geneva to view the mask. Where did he see it? Was it in the museum? Or was it elsewhere? When did he see it?

We should also remember that the letter suggests that Goldstein's is asking about parallels for the mask.

Does the Goldstein letter contain two statements that could have been misleading? Does this undermine the claim that curatorial staff at SLAM conducted a rigorous due diligence process?

It would be helpful for SLAM to reveal details of the acquisition process in order to eliminate any uncertainty.

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