I had always been disappointed never to have visited Berlin – and I addressed this when I travelled there for a holiday this summer. I was fascinated by the city and what it stands for today, and found it vibrant and ‘alive’ – very ‘multi-culti’ as one German lady told me.
However, the main purpose, and highlight of my visit was Nefertiti! For so many years I had longed to see ‘in person’ this most beautiful of busts: a bust which in my opinion is possibly the most beautiful ever produced.
Therefore, she was top of my list of things to see in Berlin. My heart was racing, my stomach twisting, and I was more excited than I could believe as I made my way to the Neues Museum, situated on Museum Island.
And I was not disappointed – she really is a masterpiece, and so very elegant and beautiful! She is there, in splendid isolation in her glass display case in the centre of the room. There were many others there to see her, yet the room was quiet and hushed – it felt almost reverential (or is that too fanciful?) But I like to think the other visitors were as much in awe of what they were seeing as I was.
I spent a long time studying her, thinking about the mystery surrounding her life in ancient Egypt: a life which during the 3000 years of empire was such a brief period, but a period of turmoil, disruption and chaos. And yet, she looks so tranquil, calm and serene. A fascinating contradiction.
I looked at her too with more critical eyes – trying to see evidence of the bust being a fake as some like to claim. I was not able to tell, but then, I so wanted to believe she is genuine.
I tarried far too long – as long as I dared, hurriedly looked at the rest of the Egyptian section, hastened through other galleries, enjoyed a delicious German cheesecake (as good as I remembered) and went back to the hotel having had a truly enjoyable and rewarding visit to the museum. This was the achievement of a long-held ambition – a tick off the ‘Bucket List’ – and I was very satisfied with my devoutedly undertaken pilgrimage to pay homage to this gorgeous ancient icon!