Chapter 23: Another European Trip

In the summer of 1974, William flew to Europe again. In Rome, he met his sister Elvira, the nun, and together they went to see Monsignor Nolli in his office in the Vatican. He gave them the statue of Akhenaten in white limestone that the Mansoors had left for repair. The technician of his laboratory had put it together and he had done the finest job.

He told them a story. It was not a fairy tale. It had happened in his office, but he had not wished to write the Mansoors about it. He wanted to tell them personally. Following is a summary of this event:

Nolli suspected that Fakhry did not know. If he said it was genuine, it was only because he had to say something. This was the Fakhry who once told Edmond in Berkeley, "We have discussed your Collection with Cooney, Von Bothmer and Muller and we have decided that it is not ancient." So much for the "Birds of a feather" (as William calls them), when they are together, they are able to decide for all of us, and they are able to support one another.

Nolli then said that he had examined all three sculptures for long periods of time during the past year and that from this study he was convinced of the authenticity of the Collection. Naturally, he said that he assumed that the rest of the sculptures were like the ones he had seen, and that he did not doubt that they were. For certainty's sake, he had also given them to the scientists and technicians of the Vatican's Museum for a scientific analysis, and that the result of this analysis coincided perfectly with the findings of numerous other scientists as stated in their reports.

William and Sister Elvira saw Nolli a few more times, then departed. The three sculptures returned with William to California.

Copyright © 1995 Christine Mansoor

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