Restitution of Knowledge:

Beyond Nefertiti

“Nefertiti can be a symbol for empowering women and should return to Egypt”, says Monica Hanna. She explains why restitution is about objects and the knowledge about objects. In her interview with Richard Bussmann, Monica Hanna talks about ethnic diversity and the Nubia Museum in Aswan, the future of archaeology in Egypt, Egypt’s positioning between the Near East and Africa and the enthusiasm of German students learning about Egyptian heritage during the Arab Spring in 2011.

This interview is part of our new “Museums in Motion Workshop Series”. Contributions in the form of podcasts will be uploaded every Tuesday. The series curates dialogues about the future of museums and colonial collections in a global context. Conceived as a workshop, it presents conversations in an ongoing debate with scholars, curators, activists and others across space.



For those who prefer to listen to the podcast on the go, we provide the episode as mp3 file here. After a right click on the audio bar, you can select ‘save file’ and download it to your device.


Dr Monica Hanna is the founding Dean of the College of Archaeology and Heritage at the Arab Academy of Science, Technology and Maritime Transport, Aswan. She has been awarded for her engagement against the illicit antiquity trade and is a leading heritage expert in Egypt.

Dr Richard Bussmann is a Professor of Egyptology at the University of Cologne. His research focuses on the society and culture of ancient Egypt. He co-directs the fieldwork project “Zawyet Sultan: archaeology and heritage in Middle Egypt”.