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APO International

President Museveni Welcomes Return of Cultural Heritage Artifacts to Uganda

todayJune 25, 2024 18

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At the cabinet meeting yesterday, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni received culturally significant artifacts from Cambridge University, marking a profound moment in the nation’s history.

These artifacts, taken from Uganda during the colonial era, have been a poignant reminder of the country’s rich cultural heritage that has long resided abroad.

The Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife, and Antiquities expresses profound gratitude for the return of these invaluable pieces, eagerly anticipated since negotiations began in 2019. These artifacts, taken by British colonial administrators, missionaries, anthropologists, and soldiers during the 1890s and early 1900s, hold immense historical importance for Uganda and its people.

The repatriation of these artifacts sets a precedent for future returns of historical objects acquired during colonial rule, as Uganda joins other African nations in reclaiming its cultural legacy. This endeavour is part of a broader effort to secure the cultural rights of Ugandans sustainably and preserve the country’s heritage for generations to come.

The process of repatriating the artifacts began under the ‘Rethinking Uganda Museum’ project in 2016, supported by the University of Michigan and funded by the Andrew Mellon Foundation. Through collaborative efforts, two Ugandan curators were invited to select the artifacts to be repatriated in November 2022, a pivotal moment in the journey to bring these cultural treasures back to Uganda.

Having been housed at the Cambridge University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology for over a century, these artifacts represent a tangible link to Uganda’s past, awaiting their rightful place within the country’s cultural landscape. The return of these artifacts underscores a commitment to acknowledging and honouring Uganda’s history while paving the way for a brighter cultural future.

As Uganda welcomes back these artifacts with open arms, the nation embraces a renewed sense of pride in its heritage and looks forward to the positive impact this return will have on cultural preservation and historical remembrance.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of State House Uganda.

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