Nas in concert at Madison Square Garden on February 24, 2023 in New York City.

Nas in concert at Madison Square Garden on February 24, 2023 in New York City.

Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage.

A King Tut Sculpture With Nas’ Likeness At A European Museum Is Causing A Race Debate

A King Tut sculpture made in the image of Nas is stirring controversy at the Dutch National Museum of Antiquities.

Despite being on tour, Nas is unintentionally causing a divide in Europe. According to reports, the Dutch National Museum of Antiquities recently launched its new exhibition “Kemet: Egypt in Hip-Hop, Jazz, Soul and Funk,” which explores Egypt’s connection to Black culture and music. In the exhibit, is a David Cortes sculpture titled “I Am Hip Hop,” directly inspired by the album cover for Nas’ 1999 LP I Am… where he appears as King Tut.

But it seems that an Egyptian antiquities expert was none too pleased with the sculpture, slamming the museum for its “grave mistake” in “insulting Egyptian civilization by portraying Tutankhamun as Black.” The museum also faced backlash on social media.

However, museum director Wim Weijland stood by the exhibit in a recent statement.

“The exhibition does not claim the ancient Egyptians were Black, but explores music by Black artists who refer to ancient Egypt and Nubia in their work: music videos, covers of record albums, photos, and contemporary artworks, ”Weijland began.

“This music often reflects on the Black experience in the West and tells stories about the African diaspora and pre-colonial Africa, including ancient Egypt.”

He added, “The exhibition explains that the representations of ancient Egypt are imaginaries: artistic interpretations of ancient Egypt, not realistic images of ancient Egyptians. For example, the exhibition contains a modern sculpture that represents the musician Nas, modeled after the mask of Tutankhamun. The exhibition explains that it is a contemporary artwork, not a replica. The exhibition explains why and when it was made and clarifies that it is not an ancient Egyptian artifact.”

“Kemet: Egypt in Hip-Hop, Jazz, Soul and Funk” is available to view until September 3.