You can read 9 more articles this month
A DESCENDANT of Australia’s indigenous Gweagal people will demand on Saturday that the British Museum return a shield stolen by British explorer James Cook in the 18th century.
The shield was “violently” taken from an ancestor of Rodney Kelly during the very first contact between the British and Australian Aborigines in 1770.
Mr Kelly said the Gweagal shield is “a gateway” with the potential to “open the discourse on the tragic modern history” of indigenous Australians under colonisation.
“The British Museum must realise that this sacred object still has vital and imperative cultural work to do in Australia,” he said. “The time has come for all of our artefacts to be returned.
“My people are suffering and our culture is dying. We need our artefacts back to bring our culture back together.
“The healing power that this shield has for Aboriginal Australia is much greater than any value it can have as part of the British Museum. No foreign institution can tell our stories as we can.”
Following new research, the museum has said it is no longer sure that the shield on display is the same one that was held by Mr Kelly’s ancestor. As recently as 2015, the museum’s Indigenous Australia exhibition said that it was.
Mr Kelly will speak at the unofficial Stolen Goods Tour organised by activist group BP or not BP alongside campaigners calling for the British Museum to return stolen objects from other areas.
People of Iraqi descent will challenge the museum’s use of looted items in its Assyria exhibition, sponsored by oil company BP, while the Rapa Nui Pioneers, an indigenous cultural organisation from Easter Island, will call for the return of a traditional Moai head.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.