By The Associated Press
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) - Art experts nosing through the vast collection of The Hermitage have concluded that an ancient Egyptian statue represents the queen Cleopatra - a conclusion based partly on the size of the statue's nose.
The statue is the centerpiece of an exhibition that shows how researchers work to unravel the often obscure meanings of works of art.
The museum acquired the black basalt statue in 1929. In 1957, a museum Egyptologist judged that it portrayed Arsinoe II, who was queen in 316-270 B.C.
But later researchers noted that three snakes were carved on the statue's forehead. That sign is characteristic only of Cleopatra, who ruled in 69-30 B.C.; Arsinoe conventionally was depicted with two snakes.
Meanwhile, the Hermitage's Andrei Bolshakov noted that the nose on the statue is larger than was usual in statues of the period - and that seemed the decisive factor.
"Everybody remembers the famous big nose of Cleopatra," he said.
Complements of http://www.heraldtribune.com
and source taken from: http://www.heraldtribune.com/apps/pbcs. ... 678&Ref=AR