Australia welcomes return of Indigenous remains from US museum

International |  IANS  | Published :

Canberra, Dec 1 (IANS) The Australian government on Friday welcomed the repatriation of Indigenous remains from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C.

In a joint statement, Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney and Minister for the Arts Tony Burke said the remains of 14 Indigenous ancestors have been returned to the country from the museum, reports Xinhua news agency.

Of the ancestors, seven will be returned to their respective traditional custodians in the states of Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia and five will be returned to their home states under the stewardship of the government.

Two others will be returned to a community in Victoria.

Since 1990, the remains of 1,700 Indigenous Australians have been repatriated from institutions and collections around the world, according to the Australian government.

Friday's repatriation marks the fourth return of Indigenous remains to Australia from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History since 2008.

The Australian government established the Advisory Committee for Indigenous Repatriation in 2012 to oversee the return of ancestral remains and cultural heritage material from around the world.

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