Germany returns tattooed Maori skull to New Zealand

DW, June 26, 2018

"A Maori skull acquired 110 years ago by a museum director in Cologne has been officially handed over to New Zealand on Tuesday.

The tattooed skull was kept in Cologne's Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum of Wold Cultures after being bought by a former director from a London dealer in 1908.

Cologne Mayor Henriette Reker handed it over to a New Zealand museum delegation in a ceremony Tuesday afternoon, as part of a 15-year scheme to repatriate indigenous articles to their original owners.

"The real goal is to find out more on the ground, and to identify the skull," said Judith Glaser from the Rautenstrach-Joest Museum.

The skull will be kept at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in the capital, Wellington, where it will stay until its descendants can be found. It will then be handed back to the appropriate Maori tribe."

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