London Museum Repatriates Islands’ Human Remains

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LONDON (REUTERS).- The remains of 138 indigenous people from the Torres Strait Islands are set to be repatriated after they were removed at the behest of a missionary during the 19th century, London’s Natural History Museum said on Thursday. The museum agreed to return the skeletal remains to the islands, situated between the northern coast of Australia and Papua New Guinea, after holding talks with indigenous leaders and the Australian government over the last 18 months. Ned David, a representative of the Torres Strait Islands (TSI) community, said islanders were “deeply touched” by the decision to repatriate the ancestral remains, most of which were removed from a cave locals held sacred. “The return of our ancestors… is a key step in the healing process for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from injustices committed against our people in the past,” he said in a statement on Thursday. “This decision has been rece