German cultural body to return skulls to Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya

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Hermann Parzinger
Hermann Parzinger

THE head of a Berlin-based cultural foundation said on Friday that nearly 1,200 skulls taken from Germany’s East African colonies had been examined and were ready for repatriation to Rwanda, Tanzania, and Kenya.

Hermann Parzinger, the head of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, told DPA that “from a moral aspect, these skulls should never have been brought here.’’

He said that the skulls were part of the collections taken over by the foundation from the Charite, Berlin’s pre-eminent university hospital, in 2011.

He added that the skulls were received in poor condition after being stored in damp conditions.

They were then cleaned and catalogued in a pilot project with a view to repatriation.

“Of the almost 1,200 skulls investigated, around 900 are from Rwanda, 250 from Tanzania and more than 30 from Kenya, while we were unable to allocate a few.

“That means that around 98 percent come from the former colony of German East Africa. Kenya was a British colony,’’ Parzinger said.

He added that discussions were underway with the ambassadors of the three countries on how to proceed further, adding that it was not for the foundation to decide what happened to them after repatriation. (dpa/NAN)

– Feb. 21, 2020 @ 14:19 GMT |

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