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6 October 2004

The remains of some 20 Aboriginal people — most taken from Australia nearly a hundred years ago by a Swedish scientific expedition to the Kimberley — will be returned tomorrow in a special ceremony at the National Museum of Australia.

While most of the remains held by the Museum of Ethnography in Stockholm are from the Kimberley (WA), the collection also includes one individual each from Urandangie (Qld), Camperdown (Vic) and Bermagui (NSW).

A seven-person indigenous delegation, drawn from these four areas, returns today from Sweden with their ancestral remains. Senator Amanda Vanstone, Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs will attend the ceremony tomorrow — after which the National Museum will assist communities in returning the remains to their final resting places.

'This return marks a significant step in the now frequent repatriation of ancestral remains from overseas, ' said the National Museum's Repatriation Director Michael Pickering. 'The Swedish Government, and its participating museums, are to be congratulated for being the first to actually initiate a return.'

WHAT: Swedish remains ceremony

WHEN: 12.30pm, Thursday, 7 October

WHERE: Friends Lounge, National Museum

Media are also invited to a reception at the Swedish Ambassador's Residence from 3-4.30pm, 5 Turrana Street, Yarralumla, Tel: 02 6270 2700.

For more information or images please contact public affairs director Martin Portus on 02 6208 5351, 0409 916 481 or

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