Jan Nikolai Nelles and Nora Al-Badri, two artists, made headlines last month for announcing that they had sneaked into the Neues Museum in Berlin. They did not make the headlines for just sneaking into the museum. They had with them a hacked Kinect Sensor with which they performed an unauthorized 3D scan of the bust of Queen Nefertiti. If you have never heard about the iconic bust of Queen Nefertiti, you probably should read this. It is the most iconic artifact of the Egyptian Museum in Berlin. It is 3,300 years old and is made of limestone and painted and coated with stucco.
Recently they released the data file of their 3D scans and it is a sight to behold. Artists all around the world can now incorporate the scans into their artwork or remix it to make new artworks. Digital Art experts strongly believe that the scans were made with a different device. Kinect Sensor scans would contain around 500,000 triangles, but their 3D scan consisted of almost 2 million triangles. But what is the more suspicious is that Jan Nikolai and Nora Al-Badri are keeping mum about their techniques which has only fuelled more doubts.
Nora said that the hacked scanner was given to them by a group of hackers. She also said that the hackers might’ve stolen the data that they scanned for creating high quality scans. Nora believes that it may have been due to a server hack or an inside job too. Experts have compared their digital scan to the scan that was done by the museum. Both of them look immensely similar and the possibility of a server hack is really high.
Experts have also raised concerns about the possibility of a heist. Meanwhile, Nora Al-Badri and Jan Nikolai displayed their 3D scans at a public event in Cairo. They believe that such an important piece of history that belongs to Egypt should stay in Egypt. Archaeologists of Germany had uncovered the bust of Queen Nefertiti in the early 20th Century and it was taken to Germany then. It has ever since remained in the Neues Museum in Berlin.