A German foundation rejected an Egyptian request to return the 3400-year-old bust of Queen Nefertiti, a sculpture which draws more than 1 million viewers annually to a Berlin museum.

Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities sent the request to the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, which runs the Neues Museum in the German capital where the bust is kept.

"She is and remains the ambassador of Egypt in Berlin," said foundation president Professor Hermann Parzinger.