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Baerbock returns cultural property to tribes

Baerbock returns cultural property to tribes

As of: May 3, 2024 10:54 am

A wooden sword, spear and fishing net have been overseas for 150 years – and now Foreign Affairs Minister Birbaugh has officially returned the cultural property in Adelaide to the Kaurna Aboriginal people.

Union External Affairs Minister Annalena Baerbach officially returned cultural property to the Kaurna tribal people during her visit to Australia. The four items were a wooden sword, a spear, a fishing net and a club sent to Germany by two missionaries in the 19th century. Most recently they were exhibited at the Grasse Museum of Ethnology in Leipzig.

“Each of these objects has countless stories. Stories about how the Kaurna people lived 150 years ago,” Baerbaugh said at the handover ceremony in Adelaide, South Australia. She wanted to honor Karna's spiritual relationship with their land.

The four items are wooden sword, spear, fishing net and conch.

Delayed delivery

Beerbock actually wanted to take the cultural assets private last August. Due to a problem with his government plane, he had to cancel his trip en route. The Grassi Museum later independently brought the objects to Australia. With the ceremony in Adelaide, the handover is now considered officially sealed.

The history of Aboriginal people in Australia dates back 60,000 years. Before British colonization in the late 18th century, there were about 700 tribes. Australia's indigenous population today accounts for about four percent and of their 300 former languages, only 20 are still spoken.