Wanted: Museum curator to return human remains that came to Britain ‘under coercion’

10/23/2021 10:30:00 PM

Pitt Rivers Museum at University of Oxford seeks eagle-eyed official to repatriate human specimens as part of decolonisation drive

University Of Oxford, Museums

💀 A museum in Oxford is hiring a curator to return human remains as part of its decolonisation pledge, but must first work out where they will be returned to

Pitt Rivers Museum at University of Oxford seeks eagle-eyed official to repatriate human specimens as part of decolonisation drive

Read more: The Telegraph »

Peterborough or Boston will be home to new Museum of BrexitPro-Leave hotspots revealed as final two candidates for exhibition commemorating Britain’s split from European Union *makes note* places to avoid with a vengeance! What's the betting they've applied for EU culture and heritage structural funding to support this new development? I predict a riot. Neither town will be able to tolerate this if it takes up valuable land where a fast food outlet might otherwise flourish.

Human remains identified as Gabby Petito fugitive Brian LaundrieInvestigators have confirmed that human remains found at Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park in Florida are those of fugitive Brian Laundrie, who was wanted in connection with Gabby Petito's death Game over Poor young lover's lives cut short. May both rest in peace. 🙏

Everything we know about Brian Laundrie as his remains are identifiedEverything we know about Brian Laundrie as FB confirm death

Body found in Florida swamp is Brian LaundrieThe FBI's Denver office on Thursday confirmed that human remains found in a Florida swamp are Brian Laundrie. The 23-year-old is the sole suspect in the murder of his fiancee, Gabby Petito. I knew they wouldn't find him alive. Whyyyyy

Human remains are likely Brian Laundrie, family lawyer says after discoveryThe Laundrie family is going to 'wait for the forensic results to come in to verify that', the lawyer said.

Human remains in Florida park identified as Brian Laundrie, FBI confirmsSteven Bertolino, the Laundrie family’s attorney, confirmed his parents were notified of the identification.

A museum in Oxford is hiring a curator to return human remains as part of its decolonisation pledge, but must first work out where they will be returned to.A long-planned Museum of Brexit will open in either Peterborough or Boston, Lincolnshire, within two years after “support or otherwise from the local community” was weighed up, The Telegraph can disclose.Human remains found in Florida have been identified as Gabby Petito's fiance Brian Laundrie, the FBI has confirmed.Here’s everything we know about the missing man so far: Belongings found Partial human remains and a few of Mr Laundrie’s possessions were found in Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park on October 20.

The Pitt Rivers Museum, which holds nearly 3,000 human specimens from child mummies to shrunken heads, said in a job advert that many of its items were “acquired in ways that are unacceptable today” and is seeking a curator to “work towards their return”. However, the incoming expert at the museum pledging to repatriate human remains will first have to work out where they should be repatriated to, and inform unknowing communities that their remains have been taken in the first place. The hope is that the final location in either Peterborough or Boston can be announced early in the new year, with the museum opening by late 2023. Marina de Alarcon, the head of collections at the Pitt Rivers Museum, told The Telegraph: “There are some human remains where the provenance information simply says ‘Africa’. The FBI launched a manhunt for Laundrie, 23, and named him as a person of interest in Gabby's death. Relatively little provenance work has been done. A fundraising dinner was held in London this week and a sum said to be “significantly over six figures” has so far been pledged to support the plan. The level of information we have really varies.” Speculation was rife over what the contents of the notebook might be, and if they were still legible after having been underwater.

Once we know the communities of origin, we will look to reach out to them. He added: “In the end, we have decided that the two buildings most suitable for our needs are in the town of Boston in Lincolnshire or the city of Peterborough. Human remains were found alongside a backpack and notepad belonging to Laundrie at the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park on Wednesday. “We will have to reach out to communities, who in many cases will be hearing about remains being taken for the first time. That can cause huge distress. “What is vital is that this project is sustainable, financially and historically.” Ms de Alarcon does not believe this approach invites “trouble” by creating new claims for repatriation, and the museum has previously outlined its plan to address how it acquired items during the pomp of Britain’s empire through “military force or coercion”. Laundrie family attorney Steve Bertolino said in a statement to Fox News: "Chris and Roberta Laundrie have been informed that the remains found yesterday in the reserve are indeed Brian's. The curator said: “We can probably assume that none of these remains were willingly given.” The museum will seek to tell the story, starting in the 1950s, of how the UK came to join the EU and then took the momentous decision to leave in 2016.” The remains were matched to Mr Laundrie’s dental records in just over 24 hours.

I have never come across any records of someone saying ‘Here, please take this’ and handing over their family members’ remains.” In a bid to redress this, the new £31,000-a-year curator will first try and identify where items have come from, without invasive testing, then aim to contact communities descended from those who may have been coerced into giving up human remains historically. The museum has been appealing for exhibits such as “items, mementoes, collections, archives, letters” to put on display.” Gabby and Laundrie embarked on their trip in early July from New York's Long Island, where her parents live. These communities will then be consulted on the future of relevant objects, with curators aiming to let them decide whether they should be redisplayed, stored or removed from the collection and repatriated. Repatriation may not stop there, with Ms de Alarcon stating: “It’s a lot of work.. But if we get to the stage when we are finished with human remains, we can move on to things that were looted. They were seen quarrelling in August, with police in Utah releasing a video showing Gabby tearfully describing a dispute she had had with Laundrie. After Ms Petito was reported missing, Mr Laundrie’s lawyer, Steve Bertolino, released a statement saying his client would not be speaking to authorities “on the advice of counsel”.

” The museum, founded in 1884 at the University of Oxford to house Augustus Pitt Rivers’ anthropological collection, holds about 2,800 specimens gathered from six continents. The collection spans trophy heads from the Naga people in India, Shuar and Achuar shrunken heads from Ecuador, skulls from Canada, scalps from the US and an entire female skeleton from Australia. Information on the origins of items varies in detail, with some specimens only bone fragments or everyday objects made with samples of human hair. He had not been charged in relation to Gabby's death. The newly announced role “primarily focussed on collections provenance work regarding human remains” will entail establishing where poorly documented items come from, but also difficult discussions with aggrieved descendants. Ms de Alarcon said: “I think I’d be naive work that didn’t involve emotional labour on the part of people doing the work here. The Petito family - along with lawyer Richard Stafford - appeared on Dr Phil in early October, during which the attorney claimed Mr Laundrie stole Ms Petito’s debit card and ran from Wyoming.

It’s a very exciting role, but could be deeply traumatic..” The museum returned more than 20 human remains since 2004, including Maori remains which were given to the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in 2017. In 2020, human remains were removed from display, with curators fearing they were open to a “racist” misinterpretation of their culture of origin, with concerns some would be seen as “savage”. ." She said she suspected Laundrie's parents may know what happened to Gabby, saying: "Silence speaks volumes.