3000-Year-Old Princess Bought By Bolton Museum & Art Gallery

By Corinne Field | 29 September 2003
Shows a side view photograph of an alabaster statuette of a female figure perched on top of a wooden plinth.

Photo: Courtesy of Bolton Museum and Art Gallery.

Thanks to the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the National Art Collections Fund a valuable Egyptian sculpture of Queen Nefertiti's daughter, will soon go on public display in the UK.

A headless statuette, believed by Egyptologists to be one of Queen Nefertiti's daughters, has been bought by Bolton Museum with a little bit of help from the NHMF.

The figurine has been privately owned for the last 100 years. The unnamed owner offered Bolton Museum, renowned for its Egyptian collection, first refusal if they could come up with the half a million pound sale price.

The National Art Collections Fund helped out and so did the Friends of Bolton Museum and Art Gallery. But the NHMF stumped up the lions share. It is the first grant that they have been able to give out since saving Tyntesfield, the Victorian country house and estate, in June 2002.

Stephen Johnson, Head of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, said, "Today's announcement shows what fantastic and surprising objects, long part of our history, still need urgent funding to keep them in the UK."

Shows a front view photograph of an alabaster statuette of a female figure perched on top of a wooden plinth.

Photo: Courtesy of Bolton Museum and Art Gallery.

The statuette was made around 1353 - 1336BC during a period considered to be the high point of Egyptian art. Only two other artefacts of the type are known to have survived, one displayed in the Louvre, Paris and the other in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Pennsylvania.

This is not the first time the NHMF has come to the rescue. Since it was established in 1980 more than 1200 items of national importance have been saved.

It operates as a fund of 'last resort', focussing on saving heritage which is under threat, whether from sale overseas, the break-up of collections, or, in the case of land, from unsympathetic development.

The Egyptian statuette will be housed at Bolton Museum and Art Gallery until October 7 and available to view on request.

After that it will go to the Hayward Gallery in London where it will make its first public appearance since Egyptian times at an exhibition of works saved by the National Art Collection fund called Saved! 100 years of the National Art Collections Fund.

The exhibition will be opened by the Queen on October 23 and the statuette will remain at The Hayward until January18 when the exhibition closes.

When it is returned to Bolton Museum in January it will go on public display.

"In terms of sculpture it will be the most important piece in our Egyptian collection", says Angela Thomas, Keeper of Egyptology at Bolton Museum and Art Gallery.

More on the venues and organisations we've mentioned:
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