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Museum Reverses "Shameful" Theft

Published fredag 1 oktober 2004 kl 12.38

Nearly 90 years after they were smuggled out of Australia and put on display in a Swedish museum, the skeletal remains of about 15 Aborigines were handed back Thursday.

A seven-member Aboriginal delegation accepted the bones at a ceremony at the Museum of Ethnography in Stockholm, where they have been on display. The remains had been smuggled out of Australia by a Swedish zoologist between 1910 and 1916 under the pretence that they were kangaroo bones.

The museum’s director, Anders Björklund says, ”What our predecessors did during those hunts for bones cannot be justified but it can be partly reversed.”

Joey Chatfield, a representative of the Gunditjmara tribe of Aborigines said the return and reburial will give their community ”great strength and peace of mind.”

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