Cosmo Wenman: The Times reports that artists Al-badri and Nelles used a modified Microsoft Kinect scanner hidden under clothing to gather the scan data of the bust. Following the Times story, there have been several independent and exhaustive descriptions of how their scan data simply cannot have been gathered in the way Al-badri and Nelles claim. […] They correctly point out that the Kinect scanner has fundamentally low resolution and accuracy, and that even under ideal conditions, it simply cannot acquire data as detailed as what the artists have made available. The artists’ account simply cannot be true.

All of this confusion stems from bad institutional practices regarding secrecy: The Neues Museum is hoarding 3D scans that by all rights it should share with the public, and The New York Times has allowed anonymous sources into the chain of custody of the facts of its story.


The Other Nefertiti — Artists release the 3D data of Nefertiti’s head

Nefertiti 3D print

Hyperallergic: 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.

Nora Al-Badri and Jan Nikolai Nelles

Nora Al-Badri and Jan Nikolai Nelles

“The head of Nefertiti represents all the other millions of stolen and looted artifacts all over the world currently happening, for example, in Syria, Iraq, and in Egypt,” Al-Badri said.

Updated March 9, 2016 with the news that this story is likely a hoax.

See also

  • The story of “Sweetie” — How a computer-generated 10-year old girl from the Philippines caught over 1,000 pedophiles in only two months.
  • The New Aesthetic and its PoliticsA photograph of Eric Schmidt wearing a flak jacket – as he does in his Twitter avatar – is a spur to investigate the circumstances of the photograph and the self-presentation of the corporation. It was taken on a visit to Iraq in 2009, when Google promised to digitise what remains of the National Museum’s collection, raising further questions about the digitisation and subsequent ownership of cultural patrimony, and of Google’s involvement in political activity and international diplomacy through its Google Ideas think-tank, which actively supports a programme of regime change in certain parts of the world.
Shape of things to come

Artists covertly scan bust of Nefertiti; release the 3D model for free online

“The Other Nefertiti” is an artistic intervention by the two German artists Nora Al-Badri and Jan Nikolai Nelles. Al-Badri and Nelles scanned the head of Nefertiti clandestinely in the Neues Museum Berlin without permission of the Museum and they hereby announce the release of the 3D data of Nefertitis head under a Creative Commons Licence.

Gallery

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