July 13, 2005

Aboriginal bark etchings return to British Museum

Posted at 6:14 pm in Similar cases

An end to a dispute that has been ongoing between the British Museum & the Aborigines in Australia for some time. The artefacts will (for the time being anyway) returned to the British Museum’s collection shortly.

ABC News (Australia)

Last Update: Wednesday, July 13, 2005. 7:43am (AEST)
Bid fails to stop Indigenous artefacts from returning to Britain

Indigenous artefacts at the centre of a bitter dispute between north-west Victorian Aboriginal groups and the British Museum have been returned to Britain.

The bark etchings were on loan to Museum Victoria and were the subject of an unsuccessful court battle by the Dja Dja Warrung people to keep them in Australia.

Victorian Indigenous Affairs Minister Gavin Jennings says he understands elders are upset, but he is offering to broker negotiations for the remains to be permanently returned to Australia.

“I’m happy to open up lines of communication immediately if the elders ask me to,” he said.

“In the meantime, I am maintaining contact with the Government’s representative in England who has lines of communication open with the British Museum.”

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