Friday, October 14, 2011

Quai Branly Museum to Return All Mummified Maori Heads

The Quai Branly Museum in Paris is organising the restitution to New Zealand of about 20 mummified Maori heads. Last year, the French parliament passed a law recognising the Maori heads as body parts and not museum objects (duh) which paved the way for their return to New Zealand. The first was taken back in May 2010 and last week Stephane Martin, the president of the Quai Branly Museum, said that the remaining heads held by French collections would be returned in an official ceremony in January. He insists however that this is purely on the grounds that they are human remains "that cannot be displayed and have no cultural gain, and would not be considering returning any other foreign artefacts in his museum's collection".

Mr Martin says the heads should be considered differently to other museum artefacts. "It's always uncomfortable to talk globally of restitution because each case has to be addressed distinctly and separately".

Australia Network News 'Paris museum returns mummified Maori heads', Oct 2011 09:16:00

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