6 Feb 2012

PNG call to return New Ireland artworks

4:46 am on 6 February 2012

A Papua New Guinea NGO is calling for traditional artworks from New Ireland Province to be repatriated.

A curator working with Malagan artworks at New Zealand's Otago Museum says he has been told by local people that there is no need to return the pieces.

Malagan art is created as part of traditional ceremonies to honour people who have died, and is traditionally destroyed or given away.

But Jenny Homerang from the 'Recreating the Village' NGO says sometimes the works are preserved to be used again

"There has never been any museum that I know of, that has tried to work with the local communities from which these objects have been removed. We've never had any kind of community outreach programmes with the museums, or the museums with us, there's no kind of contact with us. It's almost as if they're saying to us that we don't exist."

Jenny Homerang from the Papua New Guinea NGO 'Recreating the Village'