Human remains in Uppsala returned for burial

4:52 min

A special ceremony has taken place in the university town of Uppsala where 10 human skulls from the collections of two Swedish universities, were repatriated to a delegation from French Polynesia.

"These crania have been in the collections of Uppsala University and Karolinska University since the 1880s, so this marks the end of a long period when these human remains have been used by the scientific universities for educational research." Marika Hedin, curator of the Museum Gustavianum, told Radio Sweden.

She explained how the skulls came to be in Sweden.

"The ten skulls were "collected" by two different expeditions in the 1880's, probably for social anthropological study reasons and then, as was common, they were used for different disciplines, such as the racial - biological movement at the turn of the century. They were also used for teaching methods, in the anatomical sciences."

The remains were packed away and given to the delegation from French Polynesia on Sunday evening, at a ceremony behind closed doors.