Unearthing the Truth

Egypt's Pagan and Coptic Sculpture

This exhibition, the subject of international press attention, includes thirty works from the Brooklyn Museum’s permanent collection of Late Antique Egyptian stone sculpture (395–642 C.E.), some of which appear to be modern forgeries. Carved from soft Egyptian limestone, the ancient sculptures feature both pagan and Coptic Christian scenes and symbols.

Art Exhibition previously on at Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York, United States.
From Friday 13 February 2009 to Sunday 10 May 2009

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Middle Eastern Art image

Published by Brooklyn Museum on Friday 09 January 2009.
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They were made for the tombs of pagans as well as Coptic Christians, and for Coptic Christian churches and monasteries.

Late Antique Egyptian sculpture was little known when it began to appear on the market shortly after World War II. Gradually scholars began to suspect that examples now in museums in both Europe and the United States included many modern imposters. Many experts believe that some of the forgeries were created upon remnants of ancient pieces and that very few pieces remain as they were originally produced. For a review of the Brooklyn Museum pieces, Curator Edna R. Russmann joined Museum conservators and outside authorities on Coptic art and the sources of Egyptian stone. Much of that work is still ongoing. This exhibition focuses on the work done so far, particularly on the stylistic characteristics of the sculptures, both ancient and modern. The modern imitations are quite ambitious in scale and complexity and often depict unusual subjects and themes. Among the forgeries on view will be a female bust purporting to be Holy Wisdom holding an orb and staff; a limestone relief of the paralytic healed by Christ; and a sculpture depicting the Holy Family. The fakes often