Remains repatriation timeline

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  1. The Illinois State Museum in the USA agrees to unconditionally return 42 culturally significant objects of the Aranda people of Central Australia, and Bardi Jawi people of the northern Dampier Peninsula in Western Australia. The Aboriginal nations plan to return them to country and use them in the maintenance and revival of cultural practices, and support intergenerational knowledge transfer.

    The Return of Cultural Heritage project identified some 95,000 Aboriginal objects held in more than 200 overseas collecting institutions around the world.

  2. Manchester Museum becomes the first UK institution to return sacred ceremonial items to Aboriginal people. The artefacts include a headdress made from emu feathers, body ornaments, slippers, a churinga (wood or stone item believed to embody the spiritual double of a relative or ancestor) and clapsticks. Representatives from the Gangalidda Garawa received the first items.

  3. Germany's State of Saxony hands over the ancestral remains of 42 Aboriginal people in Leipzig.


  1. The Yindjibarndi people of Roebourne, WA, celebrate the unconditional return of eight secular items from Andover, United Kingdom (UK), where the family of a private collector had held them for more than 100 years. The items include a shield, spear thrower, two boomerangs and four wooden spear heads.


  1. The Israel Museum in Jerusalem returns more than 1,800 artefacts including stone tools, grindstones, and other material. Carl Shipman of Melbourne donated the collection to the Israel Museum in the 1970s.

  2. More than 100 First Nations ancestors remains are laid to rest at Wangayarta in Adelaide’s north (SA), an area specifically designed as a final resting place for remains.


View article sources (0)

[1] 'Scots return remains', NIT 10/7/2008 p.12
[2] 'Remains coming home after 60 years in America', Koori Mail 431 p.4
[3] 'Germany to hand back black remains', NIT 27/11/2008 p.11
[75132] 'Cultural heritage material to be returned to Aranda and Bardi Jawi communities from overseas', AIATSIS 10/9/2019

Cite this page

Korff, J 2018, Remains repatriation timeline, <>, retrieved 7 February 2023

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