Germany Returns Remains Of 53 Indigenous Australians

Germany has returned 53 Indigenous ancestors to Australia, the largest number repatriated from the country.

A repatriation ceremony was hosted at the Australian Embassy in Berlin on Monday to acknowledge the return of 42 ancestors to Australia.

Thirty-seven of the remains were being held at the State Ethnographic Collections (SEC) in Saxony, and five from the Martin Luther University in Halle-Wittenberg.

Yawuru community members took custody of seven Yawuru ancestors being returned from the SEC.

Ceremony to acknowledge the return of the remains of indigenous Australians from the State Ethnographic Collections of Saxony. Image: Getty Images

Last week, eight ancestors held at the University of Freiburg and two from the Linden-Museum were acknowledged in a ceremony in Stuttgart.

The remains of a Gimuy Walubara Yidindji Ancestral King were returned by the Munich Five Continents Museum on April 9.

A direct descendant of the Ancestral King, Yidindji Elder Gudju Gudju, will take custodianship and accompany his ancestor back to Australia.

Neville Reys (R) and Gerald Fourmile prepare the coffin with the remains of an Australian aboriginal in the museum of the five continents in Munich, southern Germany, on April 9, 2019 during a handing over ceremony. Photo: Getty.

The other 35 remains will be returned under the stewardship of the Australian Government.

READ MORE: Remains Of Indigenous People From UK Museum Finally Returned To Australia

Further consultation with communities will be undertaken to return the remains to Country, said Communications Minister Mitch Fifield.

"The Government would like to thank the German State Governments and the collecting institutions for their commitment to recognising the significance of repatriation for all Australians, which contributes to healing and reconciliation," he said.