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Little Warsaw

The Body of Nefertiti was Hungary’s contribution to the Venice Biennale in 2003. The two artists forming the collective Little Warsaw, András Gálik (b. 1970, Budapest) and Bálint Havas (b. 1971, Budapest), succeeded in persuading the director of the Ägyptisches Museum in Berlin to participate in their project, which consisted of placing the bust of Nefertiti, an archaeological object of great value but also a model of female beauty more than 3000 years old, on a bronze female torso specially made for occasion. The action, which took place on 26 March 2003, with no audience present and for only a few short hours, was justified by the museum’s officials as a ‘legitimate artistic experiment’, ‘a dialogue with contemporary art that follows the museum’s policy of investigating the influence of ancient art on the artists of modernity’. It sparked some interest in the art world as well as the anger of Egyptian authorities who felt that the image of their culture had been denigrated. For the artists, the success of their project lay in snatching this ‘sacred’ object out of its shrine and becoming part of its history without altering it, while opening it up to alternative readings.


  1. Little Warsaw The Body of Nefertiti, 2003

    Sculpture grandeur nature en cire
    140 x 40 x 26 cm
    Collection Mudam Luxembourg
    Acquisition 2012
    © photo : Little Warsaw

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