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Artists secretly 3D scan bust of Egyptian Queen Nefertiti and release 3D Print files online – 3ders.org (blog)

by • February 22, 2016 • No Comments

Feb 23, 2016 | By Andre

The content of museums around the world are created and curated to be vessels which share with local populations the wonders, beauty and history which surrounds us all. Art museums share with us the beauty of the human spirit whereas effortless history museums bring to light elements birthed inside nature itself.
Sometimes yet, the extraction of an artifact of its original habitat to a foreign museum or gallery can lead to controversy. A excellent example of this is the iconic bust of the ancient Egyptian queen Nefertiti. After existing, for the many part, uninterrupted in Egypt since roughly 1345 BC, the prized sculpture was found and subsequently dealt to a German based archeological company in 1912 preceding leaving Egyptian soil for the Neues Museum in Berlin.
Since and so, there has been adequate controversy surrounding the validity of the transfer which TIME magazine has the bust at number two in their Top 10 Plundered Artifacts list.
It is with this sense of historical betrayal which two artists, Nora Al-Badri and Jan Nikolai Nelles took matters into their own hands to free the bust by secretly 3D scanning the artifact in an take on to free the 3D imagery of Nefertiti back into the public domain.
As you can see in the video at a lower place, the duo went Mission Impossible with a Microsoft Kinect and what I assume to be a transportable desktop to capture relevant 3D data of the bust without being noticed.

This covert operation was part of an artistic intervention they titled “The Other Nefertiti”. To them, it was an act to free information by means of producing cultural objects publicly on the market to all.
And which’s precisely what they did. Three months after the 3D scan was taken, they released both a high resolution downloadable torrent and a direct download link to their 3D scan of the ancient queen on their project website. Within 24 hours, over 1,000 individuals had downloaded the file and have since continued sharing it with other digital art collectors, academic institutions and businesses around the world.
In addition to producing the 3D digital copy on the market online to download and remix, the duo in addition 3D printed a high-resolution copy of the bust via a resin 3D printing device and put it up for display at the American University of Cairo.

The effort, a thing I deem to be a balance between political protest and artistic expression, is intended to bring to light to the thought which history and its artifacts should be on the market to all. Al-Badri has said which “we appeal to [the Neues Museum] and those in charge behind it to rethink their attitude. It is quite easy to complete a excellent outreach by opening their archives to the public domain, where cultural heritage is quite accessible for equitebody and can’t be possessed.”
The pair suggest which while the museum has a scanned copy of the bust in their possession, it is not anything which they’ve at any time created freely on the market to the public. Additionally, while the artists believe the museum knows of their project, the Neues Museum has yet to manufacture any public statement regarding the digital heist.
In the end, it can be efforts like these which persuade the freeing of historically relevant artifacts, if just in a 3D printable form, to wider audiences. Other museums around the world have may already embarked on much like digitizations of their collections. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, for example has 75 scanned pieces freely on the market on Thingiverse. The British Museum in London has has in addition taken part in a much like digitization system.
In the end, these efforts may not resolve the ongoing discussion of where the bust of Nefertiti quite belongs, but the availability of a high resolution 3D file which allows for physical copies to be created with the assist of 3D printing is a begin.

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