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Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Final Reminder: ARCE-NC January 10 Lecture by Nicholas Brown

The American Research Center in Egypt, Northern California Chapter, and the Near Eastern Studies Department, University of California, Berkeley, invite you to attend a virtual lecture by
Nicholas Brown, UCLA:

The Beautiful One Returns:
Nefertiti and the Altered Identities of an Icon

When: Sunday, January 10, 2021, 3 PM Pacific Time

Zoom Lecture. A registration link has been automatically sent to ARCE-NC members. Non-members may request a registration link by sending email with your name and email address to Attendance is limited, so non-members, please send any registration requests no later than January 8.

About the Lecture:

An image of the Nefertiti bust in Berlin, courtesy Wikimedia Commons, and an example of a graffito in Cairo, honoring Egypt's female protestors.

The bust of Nefertiti is, arguably, one of the most iconic and recognizable artifacts from the ancient world. Since her discovery in 1912, and public display in 1923, the use of Nefertiti as a symbol of German imperial power, dominance, and "care for the past" has turned her into an icon and symbol of Berlin and Germany. Subsequent requests by the Egyptian government for her return to Egypt have proved unsuccessful and she remains in Germany to this day. Though the Nefertiti bust is housed in the Neues Museum in Berlin, Egyptians identify her as a symbol of their country and culture. This paper discusses the use of Nefertiti as a symbol of Egypt, where she has been utilized to represent the country, people, and history of ancient Egypt to the modern state.

Though they may not be able to repatriate the physical object itself, by using Nefertiti's image and iconography, modern Egyptians are able to repatriate and re-appropriate her identity for their political, social, and economic use. In essence, the modern Egyptian state strategically and symbolically has taken ownership of Nefertiti once again. This lecture begins by outlining the current post-colonial theories of control and appropriation. It then explores the imperial and colonial adaptation of Nefertiti by Germany and compares this to how the people of Egypt have responded by altering her image, identity, and meaning through the lens of Egyptian Revolutionary Street Art.

About the Speaker:

Nicholas R. Brown (

Nicholas Brown is an American Egyptologist who has worked as an archaeologist in Egypt since 2011. He received his MA degree in Egyptology from the American University in Cairo in 2016, and currently is an Egyptology PhD student at the University of California, Los Angeles. His excavation experience includes working with archaeological sites in Aswan (at Elephantine Island and Wadi el-Hudi), as well as funerary sites in Luxor, Amarna and the Sudan. In 2016, Nicholas spent the summer working at the MFA, Boston as the Terrace Curatorial Research Associate in Egyptology. He returned to the MFA over the summer of 2019 to conduct archival research for the Egyptian Art Department's exhibit "Ancient Nubia Now." Nicholas's research interests include funerary material culture from the New Kingdom, as well as the use and perception of ancient Egypt within modern contexts.

About ARCE-NC:

For more information, please visit,,, or To join the chapter or renew your membership, please go to and select "Berkeley, CA" as your chapter when you sign up.

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