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Verena Lepper receives the prestigious Golden Plate Award from the Egyptian Academy of Sciences

Neues Museum

The Egyptian Academy of Sciences has honoured Prof. Dr. Verena Lepper, curator at the Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin’s Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, with their prestigious Golden Plate Award.

One of the main aims of the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology (ASRT), based in Cairo, is to recognise scientific excellence. Verena Lepper has received the Golden Plate Award in recognition of her outstanding contributions to research.

“I heartily congratulate Verena Lepper on this distinction and am very glad to see the non-university-based research carried out by our museums and institutions receiving international recognition,” said Michael Eissenhauer, Director-General of the Staatliche Museen. Verena Lepper continued: “I see this as an accolade for the whole Ägyptisches Museum and am grateful that our work has been recognized and publicised in this way.”

Verena Lepper has been at the Staatliche Museen since 2008, her research topics including Egyptian and Oriental papyri, literary and cultural history, scientific and art history. Her many books on these subjects have been published internationally. At the Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung she curates a collection of around 30,000 papyri and manuscripts in ten different languages and scripts and leads several exhibition and research projects, with a team of 15 colleagues.

Verena Lepper has already been recognised a number of times for her academic and curatorial work, for example by the World Economic Forum and the “Germany – Land of Ideas” initiative. For her research project on the 4000-year-old cultural history of the Egyptian island of Elephantine in the River Nile, she received a Starting Grant from the European Research Council (ERC). In the same year she also received invitations to take up fellowships and guest professorships in the USA, at Harvard and Princeton Universities.

Born in the Rhineland, she studied Egyptology, Semitology, Oriental Christianity and the Old Testament at the universities of Bonn, Cologne, Tübingen, Oxford and Harvard. Her museum experience has been acquired at such institutions as the Ägyptisches Museum in Bonn and the British Museum in London. Her doctoral thesis at the Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität in Bonn was a study of the famous Westcar Papyrus. After graduating she held research positions at the universities of Oxford and Harvard.

Since 2013, Verena Lepper has been an honorary professor at the Humboldt-Universität in Berlin, where she founded a new research institute in cooperation with the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. She also tutors at the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes. In 2013, she founded the Arab-German Young Academy of Sciences and Humanities (AGYA) at the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften (BBAW) to promote Arab-German scientific exchange, a project which is being supported, under her direction, by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF).