Norway has agreed at hand again hundreds of artefacts faraway from Easter Island by the explorer Thor Heyerdahl throughout his trans-Pacific raft expeditions within the 1950s.
An settlement was signed by representatives of Oslo’s Kon-Tiki Museum and officers of Chile’s tradition ministry at a ceremony in Santiago as a part of a state go to by Norway’s King Harald V and Queen Sonja.
The museum items embody carved artefacts and human bones from the Rapa-Nui, the primary inhabitants of the distant Chilean island within the Pacific.
“Our widespread curiosity is that the objects are returned and, above all, delivered to a well-equipped museum,” stated the museum’s director Martin Biehl.
He warned nonetheless that the repatriation course of “will take time”.
Heyerdahl’s household stated he had lengthy wished to return the items he collected in expeditions within the mid-1950s and mid-1980s, presently exhibited within the Oslo museum.
The signing ceremony was additionally attended by Thor Heyerdahl Jnr who accompanied his father on certainly one of his expeditions to the island in 1955, when he was 17.
“The repatriation is a fulfilment of my father’s promise to the Rapa-Nui authorities, that the objects could be returned after that they had been analysed and revealed,” he stated.
Anthropologist and adventurer Heyerdahl turned well-known in 1947 when he and a crew of 5 crossed a lot of the Pacific on a reed raft, the Kon-Tiki.
He was looking for to show his principle that the Polynesian islands may have been settled by prehistoric South American folks, and never by settlers from Asia as most students believed.
Heyerdahl died in 2002 aged 87.
“The research of human stays – utilizing DNA – may exhibit a prehistoric contact between Rapa-Nui and South America, which was the principle thesis of my father,” Thor Heyerdahl Jnr stated.
“As a ministry we have now the mission to answer the simply demand of the Rapa-Nui folks to get well their cultural heritage,” Chile’s Tradition Minister Consuelo Valdes stated in an announcement.
“Right now, yet another step has been taken by means of this historic settlement with Norway, which can allow the return of worthwhile cultural and symbolic items.”
The Rapa Nui island neighborhood can also be demanding the British authorities return the Hoa Hakananai, one of the spiritually essential of the island’s stone monoliths, or maois, from the British Museum.
The maoi was stolen from the island in 1868 by the captain of a British frigate and given to Queen Victoria.