Although Koen Zwanengburg may not be as prolific as some builders, he makes up for it in sheer quality and talent, winning TBB’s LEGO Creation of the Year award for 2020 with his 16,000 LEGO brick mask of King Tut, for example. Koen follows up that Egyptian-themed LEGO creation with a depiction of the woman most modern scholars believe was Tutankhamen’s mother, Queen Nefertiti, the wife of the “heretic king” Akhenaten.
Koen has recreated the famous bust of Nefertiti sculpted by Thutmose, discovered in the artist’s ancient workshop in Amarna by German archaeologists in 1912 (and controversially still housed in the Egyptian Museum of Berlin rather than in its home country of Egypt).
What I love about this LEGO version is that it reflects the real-world archaeological artifact, including the missing left eye, which may have been blank when created in antiquity. The sculpture itself is made of limestone covered in stucco and was potentially a teaching tool rather than a final sculpture for display.
Like his similarly-themed King Tut mummy mask, Koen’s Nefertiti sculpture features full details “in the round,” with wonderful detail on the queen’s dark blue headdress and shoulder jewelry.
If Koen is as fascinated by history and archaeology as I am, here’s hoping we’ll see even more LEGO creations inspired by the ancient world!