Kate Brown & Naomi Rea: Artnet

In 2015, a duo of artists unveiled a 3D-printed copy of the bust of Queen Nefertiti—the more than 300-year-old limestone sculpture that attracts thousands of visitors each year—in Egypt, its country of origin. They called the act “digital repatriation.” The original artifact—which had been uncoverefrd and taken from Egypt by a German archaeological team 100 years earlier—remains on view in the Neues Museum in Berlin to this day, despite the Egyptian government’s repeated requests for its return.

At the time, the artists’ move was hailed as “the world’s most ethical art heist” because they claimed to have surreptitiously scanned the work in the museum with a mobile device. Their exploits paved the way for an important conversation about the role technology might play in the ongoing debate around restitution, as well as museums’ reluctance to allow unrestricted access to their collections. …Read More

Pictured: The Other Nefertiti by Jan Nikolai Nelles and Nora Al-Badri. Courtesy the artists