We may not all agree with Zahi Hawass in many aspects of restitution but we cannot deny that the energetic Egyptian cultural activist has a perfect sense of timing and is, in many ways, a very sophisticated strategist that many countries would be well-served to possess.
He first requested from the French Egyptian artefacts for which the French were most probably not ready to fight for. With this initial victory, he reminded the British about his well-known demand for the Rosetta Stone. Before the British could react, he demanded from the Germans the return of the bust of Nefertiti, the Egyptian Queen, who has been kept in German sojourn since 1913 when the notorious German archaeologist Ludwig Borchardt surreptitiously brought the bust to Germany under dubious circumstances which have not yet been completely clarified. Borchardt’s own words indicated that he was fully aware that he was taking the sculpture away from Egypt without the consent of the Egyptians or the authorities responsible for dividing archaeological finds between Egypt and the European archaeologists involved in excavation.
read full text at http://www.museum-security.org/hawass_nefertiti.htm