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Manchester Museum to return Maori remains to New Zealand

Another success for New Zealand [1] in securing the return of Maoris artefacts that contain human remains. Museums are willing to acknowledge now that it is right for them to return artefacts that involve human remains – with other cases though, they are still very reluctant to step forward.

New Zealand Herald [2]

British to hand back Maori remains
4:00AM Friday Nov 14, 2008

A British museum will return a collection of Maori remains to New Zealand this month.

Manchester Museum said yesterday it would hand over the remains in its collection, including a Maori skull and a fish hook made from human bone, to the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

The move is part of a multi-site repatriation of Maori ancestral remains from five institutions in Britain this month.

The remains include a skull known to be of Maori origin and donated to Manchester Museum in 1884 by a W. Slater.

The fish hook, purchased in 1955, is made of wood with plaited cord and a barb constructed from human bone. It is known to be of New Zealand origin. Manchester Museum director Nick Merriman said his institution had returned human remains to the New Zealand museum before.

“We do this because usually these remains were taken without consent, and their presencein Western museums often causes anguish to the descendantsof the deceased.”