|French Parliament Approves Return of Sixteen Maori Heads |
France's Culture minister Frederic Mitterrand, reacts during a session of the Parliament prior to the vote on the return of mummified Maori heads to New Zealand in Paris, Tuesday, May 4, 2010. France's parliament approved today May 4, 2010, the return of 16 tattooed, mummified Maori heads to New Zealand, wrapping up a years-long debate on what to do with the human remains acquired long ago by French museums seeking exotic curiosities. AP Photo/Michel Euler.
PARIS (AP).- French lawmakers decided Tuesday to return 16 tattooed and mummified Maori heads to New Zealand, ending years of debate on what to do with the human remains acquired long ago by French museums seeking exotic curiosities.
For years New Zealand has sought the return of Maori heads kept in collections abroad, many of which were obtained by Westerners in exchange for weapons and other goods.
Dozens of museums worldwide, though not all, have agreed to return them. Maori, the island nation's indigenous people, believe their ancestors' remains should be respected in their home area without being disturbed.
France's National Assembly voted 437-8 on Tuesday to give back the 16 heads counted in France, including seven kept in storage at Paris' Quai Branly museum for the primitive arts. The Senate has already OKed the move.
It was unclear when the heads might be sent home, but authorities can now begin negotiating the move.
The heads' repatriation is " matter of great significance for Maori," New Zealand's culture and Maori affairs minister Pita Sharples said. "Maori believe that, through their ancestors' return to their original homeland, their dignity is restored, and they can be put to rest in peace among their families."
Some in France had worried the case could set a precedent for similar action against other museums a big concern given the Louvre's many Egyptian mummies and lawmakers had debated New Zealand's request since 2007 when the Normandy city of Rouen offered to return its Maori head.
Lawmaker Catherine Morin-Desailly, who authored the bill to return the heads, downplayed that fear and said this was a special case because some Maoris were killed to satisfy collectors' demands.
Some Maori heads, with intricate tattoos, were traditionally kept as trophies from tribal warfare. But once Westerners began offering prized goods in exchange for them, men were in danger of being killed simply for their tattoos, French museum officials have said.
Tuesday's vote "confirms France's moral responsibility as a country of human rights," Morin-Desailly told Associated Press Television News. "There are some things which are above art and which should remain sacred."
Associated Press Writer Christina Okello contributed to this report.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.
May 5, 2010
Picasso Sells at Christie's for $106.5 Million, a Record for a Work of Art Sold at Auction
Four Nominees Announced to Compete for Britain's Turner Prize
Monet Masterpiece Donated to the National Gallery of Canada
Masterwork by Yves Klein to Be Sold at Sotheby's in London
Martin Bethenod Named Director of Palazzo Grassi-Punta della Dogana
Christie's to Offer the Forbes Collection of Winston Churchill Letters and Books
French Parliament Approves Return of Sixteen Maori Heads
Jennifer Flay Appointed General Director of FIAC Art Fair
Van Gogh Masterpiece Travels to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Winfrey, Wintour Host Metropolitan Costume Gala in New York
Archaeologists in Egypt Find Ptolemaic-Era King Statue
Museum-Quality Photographs Featured at Swann Galleries' Auction
Christoph Schlingensief to Design German Pavilion Artist for Venice Biennial
Third Annual American Masters at Salmagundi Club
Six New Video Works by Shoja Azari at Leila Taghinia-Milani Heller Gallery
Columbus Museum of Art Announces Pivotal Gift by Soter Family
Baloise Art Prize Winner Geert Goiris in the Hamburger Kunsthalle
Stuart Pearson Wright's 'I Remember You' at Riflemaker
Exhibition of Works on Paper by Norbert Tadeusz Opens at Pinakothek der Moderne
National Postal Museum Celebrates the 150th Anniversary of the Pony Express with an Online Featured Collection
Academy Art Museum Announces Appointment of Erik H. Neil as Director
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- 'Feeling Van Gogh' makes art accessible for visually impaired visitors
2.- Art lovers get naked for new exhibition tours at the National Gallery of Australia
3.- Broken in life, Billie Holiday enjoys revival on the 100th anniversary of her birth
4.- Research reveals significantly different composition in Jean-Honoré Fragonard's Young Girl Reading
5.- Retrospective exhibition of photographs by Luke Smalley opens at ClampArt
6.- Jewish teenager Anne Frank died at least a month earlier than thought, new study says
7.- Archaeologists find items that attest to the existence of an Egyptian administrative centre
8.- 'All the Rage in Paris: Diaghilev's Ballets Russes' on view at the McNay Art Museum
9.- Exhibition illustrates the fascinating creativity of Gustave Doré in an era of great changes
10.- Cynthia Lennon, British first wife of John Lennon, dies aged 75: Julian Lennon
Contested Chinese seal auctioned in Paris for 1.1 mln euros
Air de Paris exhibits works by Adriana Lara, Guy de Cointet, Trisha Donnelly and Allen Ruppersberg
Discovered: French and Italian archaeologists find the lost port of ancient Rome
Exhibition of Georg Baselitz as sculptor opens at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
Three men investigated over $130 million art heist from Paris' Museum of Modern Art
Chiara Parisi appointed new Director of the cultural programs at the Monnaie de Paris
ArtParis at the Grand Palais: A Project-Based Fair in Paris to Be Held at the End of March
ArtParis: the Event for the Modern and Contemporary Art Market Returns to the Grand Palais
"An Excellent Year": 14th Edition of Paris Photo Turned the Spotlight on Central Europe
Artist Didier Marcel Exhibits at the Musée d'Art moderne de la Ville de Paris
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|