Germany has returned to Egypt the fragments of the sarcophagus of King Akhenaten, Amenhotep IV. More than 80 years after his flight and his illegal sale to Switzerland, the sarcophagus of Nefertiti's husband, the inventor of monotheism was returned to Egypt.
Discovered in 1907 in Luxor, the Valley of the Kings, the lower part of the sarcophagus, entirely covered with gold, was stolen a few years later and missing in 1931. Switzerland had been transferred it to the Museum of Fine Arts in Munich in Bavaria.
In 1981, the director of the Egyptian Museum in Munich is identified in a Swiss private collection. After much discussion and several years of restoration of the sarcophagus with polyester, it found its colors.
In January 2001, President of the Supreme Council of Egyptian Antiquities, Gaballah Ali Gaballah, went to Munich to sign an agreement for the return of this piece with the culture minister of Bavaria, Hans Zehetmair, ending a case that lasted for over 20 years.
In May 2001, the head of the regional government of Bavaria, Edmund Stoiber Rudi Rüdiger, agrees to return for the loan prior lid of the sarcophagus for an exhibition.
January 25, 2002, he returned to Cairo accompanied by an official delegation led by Gaballah Ali Gaballah, then exposed to the Cairo Museum. Egypt still calls the bust sculpted polychrome limestone Nefertiti, wife of pharaoh Akhenaton, discovered at the site of Tell el-Amarna in 1912 by German archaeologist Ludwig Borchardt and exposed in the Neues Museum in Berlin.
"It was incredible to have half of the coffin here and the other half elsewhere," said Egyptian Minister of Culture Farouk Hosni, who claimed the return of other Egyptian art in the Louvre in Paris, Berlin and the British Museum in London.
Akhenaton, "Servant of the solar disk"
He is the only son of Amenhotep III (1410-1372 BC.) And his Great Royal Wife Tiye. At birth, he received the name of Néferkhéperourê. He acceded to the throne of the Eighteenth Dynasty Pharaohs in 1353 at the age of 16 years under the name of Amenhotep IV or Amenophis IV. At twelve, he married his cousin, the famous Queen Nefertiti (the Belle came), children like him. She gives him six daughters: Meritaten (died in 1344 BC.) Néfernéferouaton, Ankhesenpaaton, Maketaton, and Néfernéferourê Setepenrê.
The doctor and special adviser to his father teaches him to transcend his fragile health and his spirit guide to the spiritual world. Indeed, this frail old man is suffering from "sacred disease" epilepsy.
Under his advice, he abolished the worship of Amun in year 4 of his reign and replaces it with that of Aten, the solar disk from which the new name of Akhenaten "servant of the solar disk" in place and place of Amenhotep, which means "Amun is content".
He considers Aton, the solar disk as the physical manifestation of Re. Unlike Amon, invisible, the sun can be seen by all: just look up to heaven. He imposes the only god of Egypt, carrying "light, life, love and truth."
Replacement of all other gods by the solar disk is a religious revolution as it introduces the concept of the Egyptian customs monotheism.
He moved the capital from Thebes to Pharaonic Akhet-Aton (the horizon of the solar disk), now Tell el-Amarna in Middle Egypt, 320 Km in further north.
He is the composer of the Great Hymn to Aten. Very mystical, Akhenaton composed some hymns to the glory of Aten found in nearly original in the Psalms of the Bible. Moses, raised as an Egyptian prince, and almost contemporary of King Akhenaten, would he inspired him?
On the political level, he behaves as an apostle of nonviolence refusing to defend the borders of Egypt. He loses all territories outside of Egypt (Mitanni, Syria, Palestine). He ruled Egypt for ten years and was assassinated at the age of thirty years to 1341 BC.
He is succeeded by his illegitimate son, Tutankhamun (died in eighteen years) with solid gold sarcophagus of a fabulous treasure was discovered intact in the Valley of the Kings November 26, 1922 by British explorer Howard Carter.
An army general, Horemheb, usurps power, marries a princess to be legitimized and proclaimed himself « Pharaoh ». He abandoned Akhet-Aton and proclaimed himself the successor of Amenhotep III after deleting the names of his predecessors Akhenaten, Tutankhamun and Sémemkharâ on all Egyptian monuments.