The Other Nefertiti

Artistic Intervention, 2015-16

“The Other Nefertiti” is an artistic intervention by Jan Nikolai Nelles and Nora Al- Badri. “With the data leak as a part of this counter narrative within our investigative practice we want to activate the artefact, to inspire a critical re-assessment of today’s conditions and to overcome the colonial notion of possession in Germany's museums”. With regard to the notion of belonging and possession of material objects of other cultures, the artists intention is to make cultural objects publicly accessible and to promote a contemporary and critical approach on how the “Global North“ deals with heritage and the representation of “the Other”. “We should tell stories of entanglement and Nefertiti is a great case to start with to tell stories from very different angles and to see how they intertwine.“

sequence I
Nefertiti Hack
Aug-Nov 2015, Berlin Germany

We scanned the head of Nefertiti clandestinely in the Neues Museum Berlin without any permissive. We used a portable scanner (a hacked Kinect) and collected data circling around Nefertiti for a few hours.

sequence II
OFF Biennale Cairo,
November 28th, 2015, Cairo Egypt

Nefertiti is returning to the place where it was found. For the first time since the sculpture was excavated and stolen over 100 years ago, the iconic artefact will be shown in Cairo. “
“The Other Nefertiti” is an artistic intervention by the two German artists Nora Al-Badri and Jan Nikolai Nelles.

sequence III
lecture: The mummie unwrapped –
Cultural Commons durch Kunstraub

Dezember 27th 2015, Hamburg Germany

The Other Nefertiti goes Hamburg, Nelles-Al-Badri will give a lecture in German at 32. Chaos Communication Congress: "The mummie unwrapped – Cultural Commons durch Kunstraub". We are going to talk about the idea of cultural commons by force and why stealing from a museum is not right but it is OK!

At this link you will find a torrent to access the dataset under a public domain:

Here you can have a quick preview on a very reduced dataset directly in your browser.

Here you can watch the recorded talk where the data was released at the 32C3 Chaos
Communication Congress at 27 Dec 11:30 am and where we talk about the project (German):

Press coverage (excerpt)
In an article from 29 November the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung called the artists:

“The Robin Hood's of the Antiquities” and metaphorically asks “if the Nefertiti head in Berlin will be shaking by the leak of the data”.

Hyperallergic wrote in an article from 19 February:

“With this controversy of ownership in mind, Al-Badri and Nelles also want, more broadly, for museums to reassess their collections with a critical eye and consider how they present the narratives of objects from other cultures they own as a result of colonial Historien.”

Al Ahram, the biggest Egyptian Newspaper, stated in an article from 26 November about the artists:

“That the statue (head of Nefertiti) turned into a symbol of an issue that transcends the
limits of the artefact and reveal how the major powers of the colonial past didn't change their
attitude until today.”

Le Monde Afrique resumes in an article from 17 December about the exhibition in Cairo that

“Many young Egyptians, students, artists, journalists are affected by this statue that has never been exhibited in Egypt.”