Egyptian statues with no noses

Why Egyptian statues have no noses

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Art curator Eduard Bleiberg was very surprised when he first heard the question ‘Why Egyptian statues have no noses?’. He had always taken it for granted that statues were damaged by time. As a result, he hadn’t noticed that it was the statues’ nose that was most often missing.

This was the question that led him to start his scientific research on “why do Egyptian statues have broken noses“. The nose would be the first part to fall into a 3 dimensional sculpture, but in many cases the nose has not only fallen, but been crushed or hit.

The continuity of these cases makes us think that it is intentional,” he says.

Bleiberg says that in ancient Egypt it was believed that a person’s image could carry their own soul, even after death. These cases of vandalism must have aimed to reduce the power of the person in question.

Egyptian statues with no noses
Egyptian statues with no noses

The Egyptians believed that earthly kings should supply the Gods, who in return would help Egypt. Tombs and statues were the point of connection between the Lords and man. The damaged part of the body is no longer able to do its job. The broken nose stops him from breathing. This vandalism was carried out by grave robbers, who were afraid of the revenge of the deceased, or of the person’s opponents.

Bleiberg says that the same phenomenon is seen in today’s times, where the image of a person carries his power.

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