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Arts & Culture

The Largest Collections of Egyptian Artefacts in The World

Bank of Spain Boston Egyptian Museum of Berlin La Casa de Papel Museo Egizio Museum of Fine Arts South America The British Museum in London
The Largest Collections of Egyptian Artefacts in The World
    written by
    Nada Medhat

    La Casa de Papel came to its ultimate end last weekend. The world has been waiting to see how the Bank of Spain’s Heist would end since the release of the third season in 2019 when the gang returned to steal Spain’s National Reserve of gold. In an anti-imperialist tone, the robbers, under the command of the Argentinean anti-hero character, Palermo, strived to repatriate the gold that the Spanish Conquistadors had plundered from the South American continent.

    Everyone waited to see if the gang would be able to get away with the 90 tons of looted gold, but none more than Egyptians, who feel the sentiment all too well. Innumerable Egyptian artefacts currently reside outside of Egypt in over 39 museums worldwide, much like the Spanish gold, mostly stolen during times of war and colonisation.

    Here are three museums across the world that house the largest amounts of Egyptian artefacts and the most important pieces they hold.

    The British Museum in London, UK.

    The British Museum holds the most Egyptian artefacts outside of Egypt. At over 100,000 pieces (the same estimate as is in the Grand Museum in Egypt), their collection started with the foundation of the museum in 1753 with 160 artefacts, growing with time until it reached the number it has today.

    One of the most important pieces being held in the museum is the colossal red granite statue of Amenhotep III. Dating back to 1370 BC and discovered in 1870, it was transported to London shortly after, where it has been kept until this day.

    Egyptian Museum of Berlin, Germany.

    About 80,000 artefacts currently reside in the Egyptian Museum of Berlin. The seed of the museum was planted in the 18th century. Under King Friedrich Wilhelm III and influenced by the advice of polymath Alexander von Humboldt, an Egyptian section was created and the first Egyptian artefacts were brought to Berlin. The collection dates from 4000 BC to the Roman ere, spanning an enormous period of Egyptian history, with valuable objects excavated from the land.

    One of the most famous pieces the museum is known for is the exceptionally well-preserved, vividly painted, stucco-coated limestone bust of Queen Nefertiti. The figure is believed to have been crafted in 1345 BC and discovered in 1912. It was then taken to Germany to later become the most well-known and most copied Egyptian artefacts.

    The Louvre, Paris, France.

    The Department of Egyptian Antiquities of the Louvre contains over 50,000 artefacts dating from 4000 BC to the 4th century AD. The origins of the department were the royal collections, that was later integumentary and increasingly piled via acquisitions after the then king, Charles X, ordered a department for Egyptian Artefacts following Champollion’s translation of the Rosetta Stone. Standing guard in front of the collection is one of the oldest Egyptian Statues, arguably dating back to the 26th century BC, the Great Sphinx of Tanis. The collection also holds one of the most well-known works of Egyptian Art, the Seated Scribe.

     

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