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Thousands of Aboriginal remains yet to be repatriated: Cubillo

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 12 Nov 2002

The head curator of the National Museum of Australia, Francesca Cubillo,
says there could be thousands of Aboriginal remains yet to be returned to

There is a strong indication that remains from British museums will be
returned soon.

A British newspaper, The Independent, says a report recommending the
relaxation of laws that prevent institutions returning remains will be
debated by the British Parliament before Christmas.

Ms Cubillo says Australian museums have a repatriation policy, but getting
the same policy internationally is in its very early stages.

Ms Cubillo says the Aboriginal community is still dealing with what was
once a large, horrible industry of theft and trade in remains.

"In the first instance we need to know exactly where Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander remains are held," she said.

"We then need to look at the documentation that is with those collections
so that we can begin the process of repatriation back to Australia but
also repatriation of these ancestral remains back to their community."



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