Artists Covertly Scan Bust of Nefertiti and Release the Data for Free Online' Hyperallergic February 19, 2016.
Last October, two artists entered the Neues Museum in Berlin, where they clandestinely scanned the bust of Queen Nefertiti, the state museum’s prized gem. Three months later, they released the collected 3D dataset online as a torrent, providing completely free access under public domain to the one object in the museum’s collection off-limits to photographers. Anyone may download and remix the information now; the artists themselves used it to create a 3D-printed, one-to-one polymer resin model they claim is the most precise replica of the bust ever made, with just micrometer variations. That bust now resides permanently in the American University of Cairo as a stand-in for the original, 3,300-year-old work that was removed from its country of origin shortly after its discovery in 1912 by German archaeologists in Amarna. The project, called “The Other Nefertiti,” is the work of German-Iraqi artist Nora Al-Badri and German artist Jan Nikolai Nelles, who consider their actions an artistic intervention to make cultural objects publicly available to all.It is interesting to reflect on whether the manner in which this simulacrum was created does not make it a desirable 'trophy object' for collectors in its own right.
Vignette: 'Stolen'(?) bust