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Torres Straits reclaim ancestors’ bones

Representatives of the Torres Strait Islands have successfully reclaimed bones belonging to their ancestors from the Natural History Museum in London, reported the BBC on 23 November.

The islanders have collected 19 skeletal remains of indigenous people from the Torres Strait Islands taken in the 19th century.

A further 125 remains thought to have come from the islands are to be held on behalf of the islanders at the museum until their origin can be determined.

The islanders have campaigned to have the human remains returned to them so they can be given a traditional burial.

However, critics say the handover will hamper the progress of scientific research.

The Natural History Museum has nearly 20,000 human remains, some of which are used by scientists to research how humans evolved and migrated across the world.