Page last updated at 09:48 GMT, Wednesday, 9 July 2008 10:48 UK

Aboriginal skulls returning home

The skulls have been at the museum for over 125 years

Four Aboriginal skulls, which have formed part of a British museum's collection for more than 100 years, are to be returned to Australia.

The 19th century human remains were donated to Exeter's Royal Albert Memorial Museum by someone who claimed to have been given them.

They are being returned to members of the Ngarrinderi people at a ceremony on Wednesday.

A museum spokesman said the skulls had never been on public display.

We have been waiting a long time for this process to take place
Tom Trevorrow, Ngarrindjeri spokesman

The Ngarrindjeri people have been working for a number of years to have their ancestors' remains returned from museums around the world.

Tom Trevorrow, chair of the Ngarrindjeri Nation Heritage Committee, said: "The Ngarrindjeri People of South Australia are truly thankful to the Royal Albert Memorial Museum for returning our Old People's remains back to us so that they can be laid to rest once again in their own birth land.

"We have been waiting a long time for this process to take place.

"It is a contribution to the healing of wrongful and hurtful colonising practices... and a step towards reconciliation."

Kevin Mitchell, from Exeter City Council said the authority was: "delighted to be able to help the Ngarrindjeri people with their quest to have their ancestors returned."

Aborigines believe the spirits of their ancestors cannot rest in peace until their bones are buried in their native ground.

Aborigines reclaim skulls
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Aborigine skulls to be taken home
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Museum to return Aborigine skulls
10 Apr 08 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
Museum pledges to return remains
17 Jan 08 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
Aboriginal remains to be returned
15 Oct 07 |  Merseyside

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