France to return mummified Maori head to New Zealand after over 125 years

10th October 2007, Comments 0 comments

10 October 2007, ROUEN (AFP) - A mummified head of a Maori warrior given to a French museum in the western city of Rouen in 1875 will be returned to New Zealand later this month, city officials said Tuesday.

10 October 2007

ROUEN (AFP) - A mummified head of a Maori warrior given to a French museum in the western city of Rouen in 1875 will be returned to New Zealand later this month, city officials said Tuesday.

A private collector left the mummified and tattooed head to the Rouen museum but it was not known how he came to own the artefact that was a popular collector's item in late 19th-century Europe.

Rouen Mayor Pierre Albertini said the Maori head will be returned on October 25 to underscore "the respect that we owe to people who are refusing to allow their culture and identity to die."

Following the settlement of New Zealand by mainly British Europeans from the 19th century, the indigenous Maori now make up about 15 percent of the country's 4.1 million people.

New Zealand has over the past two decades requested the return of all Maori remains from the collections of western museums.

The head, which was removed from the permanent display of the Rouen museum in 1996, will be sent to the Te Papa Tongawera museum in Wellington.

AFP

Subject: French news

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