The Real Story....
In 1972, headlines in the New York Times and Rochester newspapers announced:
"Ancient King Gets It Together,"
"Discarded King Together Again,"
"Brooklyn Curator Links Pharaoh Statue in Cairo," and
"One and One Make One!"
These articles all reported an exciting discovery at the Memorial Art Gallery at the University of Rochester. Here's a version of the article that appeared in the New York Times . . .
Dateline . . . Cairo, February 2, 1972.
Thanks to a "light that clicked" in the memory of a Brooklyn Museum curator, Bernard V. Bothmer, the bottom part of a statue of a Pharaoh who ruled Egypt about 4,400 years ago was joined today with a plaster cast of its upper section, owned by the Memorial Art Gallery at the University of Rochester .. .
The assembled statue was of Ny-user-ra , a Fifty Dynasty ruler during the Old Kingdom. The statue, of Aswan granite and about 3 feet tall, was broken at the elbow with the right arm bent above the break line and holding a mace.
The link between the two pieces occurred to Mr. Bothmer, the Brooklyn Museum's curator of ancient arts, in 1969, when he came across a footnote reference to the bottom part of the statue of Ny-user-ra.
"There was a light that clicked in my memory when I read that footnote," Mr. Bothmer recalled this morning. "In 1952, I was in Rochester to give a lecture and stopped by the Memorial Museum to see their Egyptian pieces. I took notes on the broken statue, photographed it from all four sides and then forgot about it until I read that footnote 17 years later."
With the help of a German Egyptologist then in Cairo, Dr. Guenter Grimm, measurements were made of the lower-parts break lines. Mr. Bothmer measured the upper half and found that the two fit within a sixteenth of an inch.
The Egyptian museum subsequently made a plaster cast of the lower part and shipped it to the Brooklyn Museum. Mr. Bothmer borrowed the upper half from Rochester and the match was perfect . . .
Today, the statue is displayed in Rochester with the original upper half and a plaster cast of the lower section. And thanks to the inscription that identifies Ny-user-ra on the lower part of the statue, we know which pharaoh is represented in this piece!
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