January 23, 2005
Maori heads from a Perth museum are going to be returned to New Zealand. Museums in Britain appear to be more accepting in recent years that in specific cases restitution is either inevitably, or the best possible option for certain items in their collections. Something that many US museums holding Native American artefacts have already had to accept legally for a number of years.
Sat 22 Jan 2005
THE TOI MOKO ARE GOING HOME. TWO preserved tattooed Maori heads, which have been mouldering in Perth Museum for more than a century and a half, are to be returned to their Antipodean homeland. They were rudely removed in 1822 by David Ramsay, a Perth-born ship’s surgeon.
Two similar Maori heads, plus a bone, are also being returned to New Zealand by Glasgow Museums, rather like the much-publicised Ghost Dance Shirt, returned by Glasgow to the native American Lakota people in 1999. Ethiopia, meanwhile, has been celebrating the return of the Aksum obelisk, removed from the holy city of Aksum by Italian fascists in 1935.
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