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The National Museum of Australia is an approved borrowing institution under the Australian Government’s Protection of Cultural Objects on Loan Scheme. The Museum’s policies on international loans and claims handling are covered by the:

The Museum publishes information about its international loans, as part of the requirements of the scheme.

International loans

Ancient Greeks: Athletes, Warriors and Heroes exhibition

Venue: WA Museum Boola Bardip, Perth Cultural Centre, Perth, WA, 6000
Duration: Opening 20 June – 7 November 2021

Venue: National Museum of Australia, Lawson Crescent, Acton Peninsula, Canberra, ACT, 2601
Duration: 17 December 2021 – 1 May 2022

Venue: Auckland War Memorial Museum, Museum Circuit, Auckland Domain, Auckland, New Zealand
Duration: 10 June – 16 October 2022

More on Ancient Greeks at the National Museum of Australia

Kamay spears display

The 3 spears listed below from the University of Cambridge (Trinity College) and Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology were on show in the exhibition, Endeavour Voyage: The Untold Stories of Cook and the First Australians, at the National Museum of Australia, Canberra, from 2 June 2020 to 26 April 2021. The spears remain on loan in Australia and additional display locations and dates will be provided, when confirmed.

Image Object title and descriptionLender Object numberDimensionsCreator Place and date createProvenance Related Place/ persons
SpearsD 1914.2 is second from left Garrara. three-pronged wooden spear. Prongs are secured with fibre string and sealed with resin, probably black boy (Xanthorrhoea/ grass tree). Some fibres are loose. Two of the prongs are bone-tipped, while the other spear’s tip is missing. Bones also bound on and sealed with resin. University of Cambridge (Trinity College) and Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology D 1914.2 L 1320 x diameter 22 mm Unknown Botany Bay, <1770 This spear is part of the Cook–Sandwich Collection, consisting of items which Captain James Cook collected from many parts of the Pacific Islands and Pacific Rim, and documented, during his first voyage there between 1768 and 1771. This spear was acquired at Botany Bay in April 1770, probably by either James Cook or Joseph Banks. On his return to England Cook gave this collection to the Earl of Sandwich, his patron at the Admiralty. The Earl of Sandwich passed about 100 items, with an inventory, to Trinity College, Cambridge in October 1771, for educational and scientific purposes. The inventory is held in the Wren Library in Trinity College. The college transferred the artefacts for exhibition to the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in two phases, in 1914 and 1924. The Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology has curatorial responsibility for the collection, which remains the property of Trinity College. Botany Bay, NSW
Spears D 1914.3 is first on the left Garrara. Fishing gig or spear of Xanthorrhoea flowering stem with four prongs, secured with fibre and sealed with resin. Prongs tipped with stingray spines (only one remaining), and bound on and sealed with resin. University of Cambridge (Trinity College) and Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology D 1914.3 L 1387 x W 62 x H 46 mm Unknown Botany Bay, <1770 This spear is part of the Cook–Sandwich Collection, consisting of items which Captain James Cook collected from many parts of the Pacific Islands and Pacific Rim, and documented, during his first voyage there between 1768 and 1771. This spear was acquired at Botany Bay in April 1770, probably by either James Cook or Joseph Banks. On his return to England, Cook gave this collection to the Earl of Sandwich, his patron at the Admiralty. The Earl of Sandwich passed about 100 items, with an inventory, to Trinity College, Cambridge in October 1771, for educational and scientific purposes. The inventory is held in the Wren Library in Trinity College. The college transferred the artefacts for exhibition to the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in two phases, in 1914 and 1924. The Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology has curatorial responsibility for the collection, which remains the property of Trinity College. Botany Bay, NSW
Spears D 1914.4 is first on the right A wooden spear, possibly used for hunting or fighting, with a single point attached at one end with binding and resin. Plain and undecorated. University of Cambridge (Trinity College) and Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology D 1914.4 L 1530 x diameter 16 mm Unknown Botany Bay, <1770 This spear is part of the Cook–Sandwich Collection, consisting of objects which Captain James Cook collected from the Pacific between 1768 and 1771. On his return to England, Captain Cook gave this collection to the Earl of Sandwich, his patron at the Admiralty. The Earl of Sandwich passed about 100 items, to Trinity College, Cambridge in October 1771, for educational and scientific purposes. The college transferred the artefacts for exhibition to the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in two phases, in 1914 and 1924. The Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology has curatorial responsibility for the collection, which remains the property of Trinity College. Botany Bay, NSW

Guide to enquiries and claims for objects on loan

If you would like to enquire about, or make a claim on, an object on loan to the National Museum of Australia (the Museum) under the Protection of Cultural Objects on Loan (PCOL) scheme, please contact the Museum in person or at loanfeedback@nma.gov.au or via the Museum’s general information number, (02) 6208 5000.

Information to be provided with an enquiry or claim

To progress a request for information or a claim on an object, please provide the following:

  • your name, address and contact details
  • a short summary of the information required or claim to the object, as well as copies of any documents or other evidence that may be relevant
  • where the enquiry or claim is being made on behalf of another person, that person’s name and contact details, and your relationship to that person
  • a statement confirming that you (or the claimant) are aware that the Museum may inform the lender of the request and supply them with information on the enquiry or claim.

Consideration of the request

The Museum will consider your enquiry or claim, taking into account:

  • if the party making the enquiry or claim is known to the Museum
  • whether the claim has been made in another jurisdiction
  • the documentation or evidence provided by the person making the enquiry or claim
  • in the case of Australian cultural material, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander material, close examination of the object’s provenance and history, including how the object left the custody of the individual or communities and the circumstances in which it was exported from Australia.

Response to the enquiry or claim

The Museum will promptly acknowledge your enquiry or claim and provide an initial response within 28 days of receiving an enquiry or claim. The response may include:

  • the information published in accordance with PCOL publication requirements
  • details on the object’s provenance and due diligence research, conducted in accordance with the Museum's policies and procedures and as required under PCOL.

The Museum will let you know if we intend to contact the lender about your enquiry or claim.

Claims management and reporting

The Museum’s management of a claim will comply with the Protection of Cultural Objects on Loan Act 2013 (the Act), considering the information supplied and the status of the loan. The Act provides that objects imported into Australia under the PCOL scheme are protected from seizure and legal suit. Once an object has been imported, this protection cannot be revoked.

Further information about the PCOL scheme is on the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications website

If a legitimate claim is received for an object that has already entered Australia, the protections under the Act will apply. If a legitimate claim is made prior to importation, the Museum will assess whether to continue with the loan.

The Museum will also report claims made on objects that are protected by the Act to the Minister for the Arts in writing and without delay.

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