Germany to investigate provenance of 1,000 African skulls

National/World
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TRUNYAN, INDONESIA – MARCH 21: Skulls are positioned at a village cemetery in Kuban, on March 21, 2007 near Trunyan, Bali resort island, Indonesia. Unlike the Balinese people, the people of Trunyan do not cremate or bury their dead but lay them out in bamboo cages to decompose. The stench is masked by the perfumed […]

BERLIN (AP) – A German cultural institution has started an investigation into the provenance of about 1,000 human skulls from the country’s former African colonies in the collection of a Berlin hospital.

The Prussian Cultural Heritage foundation took over the collection of skulls from Berlin’s Charite hospital and medical school in 2011, which were from colonies in what is today Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi and Mozambique.

The foundation said in a statement Thursday it would cooperate with an international network of scientists to evaluate documents and find out more about the origins of the skulls. Depending on the results, the skulls may be repatriated to the countries of origin.

The skulls are part of a bigger collection that was brought to Germany in the 19th and early 20th century by a German anthropologist.

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