July 22, 2009
There have been many cases in recent years where museums in the UK have returned Aboriginal artefacts that consist of (or incorporate) human remains. New negotiations involving bark etchings however are interesting, as there is no clear indication from the article that there is any connection with human remains. Technically this would mean that the British Museum was legally forbidden from returning them, although there is the possibility of some form of loan, as was used with the Kwakwaka’wakw mask returned to Canadian first Nations people.
Melbourne Sun Herald
British Museum may hand back Aboriginal artifacts
July 22, 2009 12:21pm
THE British Museum has begun talks with Victorian Aboriginals about the possible return of rare bark etchings believed to be more than 150 years old.
The three etchings, estimated to be worth more than $1 million, have been held in London for many years after their collection by Victorian landowner John Hunter Kerr near Lake Boort in the 1850s.
When they were lent to Museum Victoria along with a ceremonial headdress for a temporary display in 2004, members of the Dja Dja Wurrung tribe dramatically seized hold of them and demanded they be returned to the Boort area.
Read the rest of this entry »