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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

France to Return Mummified Heads

First requested in the 1980s, France has decided to return 15 mummified heads of Maori warriors to New Zealand, where they will be sent to the appropriate tribes for burial. The heads were taken as trophies and collectors' items in the 18th- and 19th-Centuries by explorers. Some say Maori may have been killed for their tattoos in these collections.

In 2007, a city council voted to return one head, but the decision was later overturned. The bill was almost unanimously backed by authorities this time around. The heads have been on display in various museums throughout France.

© C Harris Lynn, 2010

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