Egypt: Faith after the Pharaohs, British Museum, review: 'ambitious'
By Alastair Sooke
Basalt bust of Germanicus
Roman, about AD 14-20
Probably made in Egypt
UNITED KINGDOM---Midway through the British Museum’s new exhibition, "Egypt: Faith After the Pharaohs," we encounter an object that epitomises what the show is about. It is a basalt bust of Germanicus (Augustus’s great-nephew, and a beloved general of the early Roman Empire), which was probably carved after he visited Egypt shortly before his death in Antioch in AD 19. Long after the Julio-Claudians had lost control of Egypt, somebody set about the bust by hacking off its nose as well as chunks of its right ear. With a few strokes of a chisel, this champion of a bygone pagan era was branded, for eternity, as a slave of God. [link]