UK Move On Aboriginal Art

Aboriginal Art Directory | 31.07.09

Negotiations between Australia and UK could soon re-start in a battle over the return of valuable Aboriginal artworks, writes Nick Gibson.

The Dja Dja Wurrung tribe are seeking the return of a pair of Aboriginal bark paintings - insured for more than $1m – that originate from Lake Boort, north-west of Melbourne.

The items were collected by a white farmer and given to the British Museum. In 2004, when the bark paintings were loaned to Museum Victoria for an exhibiton, members of the Dja Dja Wurrung tribe seized the artifacts and demanded their legal return.

A long-running legal battle has since ensued but talks have previously ended in stalemate.

The UK’s Natural History Museum has seven sets of remains belonging to Dja Dja Wurrung and Gunditjmara people while the remains of a member of Victorian tribe the Wathurong are currently in Oxford.


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