News Everyday

Cambridge University returns Uganda’s artefacts stolen 124 years ago


It was an exciting moment at Entebbe International Airport on Saturday as artefacts stolen from Uganda 124 years ago and taken to the Cambridge University were returned home.The 39 significant artifacts returned from the Cambridge University’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology were taken from Uganda in the 1890s and early 1900s by British colonial administrators, anthropologists, and missionaries.Among them are a historic drum from Bunyoro, brought to Cambridge in 1920, and a collection of Balongo sacred ‘twins’ with deep ritual significance in Buganda.The Minister of State for Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Martin Mugarra Bahinduka hailed this milestone as just the beginning of our journey to repatriate many more artifacts scattered across the globe.“Hopefully, Ugandans will understand their historical significance to enable us appreciate and integrate them into our cultural heritage,” Mugarra said.The minister said efforts are in place to have more artefacts stolen from Uganda returned.“We have more than 39 artifacts still in Britain alone, and even more across Europe. I believe negotiations will continue to bring back additional artifacts held in these countries. These are items we haven’t had for over 100 years. They were significant enough for colonialists to take them from Uganda to the UK. Their return is crucial not only for the ministry but also for the museums’ department. We will display and preserve them as part of our cultural heritage.Jackline Nyiracyiza, the acting Commissioner for Museums and Monuments, noted thatthe ministry will officially hand over the five sacred twins (Balongo) belonging to the Buganda Kingdom to the Wamala Tombs community at a later date.Derek Peterson from the University of Cambridge who was also present said the return of these artefacts and many more stolen, will help Uganda tell its story of the past.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.