Restitution of History

France will return some 20 mummified heads of Maori warriors still held by its museums back to New Zealand at a ceremony in January. The restitution follows a four-year political struggle which ended in 2010 when the French Senate approved a law allowing the return to New Zealand of all Maori heads held in France. The Musée du quai Branly in Paris, which has seven such heads is hosting an exhibition highlighting the links between taonga and contemporary art, at the close of which a ceremony would be held for the restitution of all warriors’ heads still in French collections, the museum’s president Stéphane Martin said. ‘Maori: Their treasures have a soul runs’ from 4 October through 22 January 2011.

Tags: AFP  France  Maori  Maori tradition  mummified heads  Paris