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In ancient Egypt, artists almost never created true portraits. This bust of Ankhhaf, therefore, breaks the rule. Rather than a stylized representation, the face is of an individual. In 1927, this Bust was given to the Museum of Fine Arts as part of a joint excavation. In 2005 the Bust of Prince Ankhhaf was asked to be returned to its home, in Egypt. The intention was to display Ankhhaf at the soon to be finished Grand Egyptian Museum.
Unfortunately, the MFA has consistently rebuffed such requests since then, citing shipping concerns and fragility of the object, but most notably Egypt’s “unstable political climate.” Well, thanks to our American art institution for keeping Egypt’s heritage safe, right?! But why bother shipping the real Ankhhaf, when you can just ship some data. What’s the difference - between representation and the real and all that anyways.
Because something that looks like the real thing is better than nothing?