An Aboriginal artist has demanded the royal family return the remains of First Nations Australians from British museums, following the Queen’s death at the age of 96.
In a passionate post on Facebook on Wednesday, artist Allan McKenzie, of NSW’s Central Coast, noted that the remains of many Aboriginal Australians are still held in museums across the UK and Europe.
“If the ‘Royal Family of the Commonwealth and England’ were such great humanitarians of this planet and such generous, kind people,” he wrote.
“Why do they and the museums of England still have the remains of Aboriginal warriors and bodies of people they refuse to return to the First Nation Aborigines of this country?”
Mr McKenzie said it was time Aboriginal Australians were given the opportunity to give their ancestors a proper burial.
Indigenous artist Allan McKenzie said the remains of First Nations Australians should be returned to their communities, rather than held in museums in the UK and Europe
In an impassioned post on Facebook on Wednesday, Mr McKenzie, of NSW’s Central Coast, noted that the remains of many Aboriginal Australians are still held in museums around the world.
While many agreed with the artist, he also faced some criticism for his post, with one telling him to “stop whining” while another saying the artist should have more respect as the Queen’s death is less than was announced a week ago.
‘Heck her bodies barely cold and controversy is the first thing you say? There is a time and place for everything. This isn’t it,” said one.
“I understand your pain … but the timing is terrible,” said another.
“Didn’t know this was a hate page thought it was art,” one wrote.
Mr McKenzie then made another post looking back at those who accused him of being “disrespectful”.
Mr McKenzie hit back at those who accused him of being disrespectful after the Queen’s death, saying he will always stand for the ‘justice of our ancestors’
The artist said the royal family (pictured) ‘claims to be humanitarian’ and called for the return of indigenous remains
“Just sit back and think about what the Aboriginal people went through during the time the Commonwealth dictated to my people!” he said.
‘The way we live!!! The way we learn!!!! The essence of who we are!!!
My heart has been and always will be for justice of our ancestors who lay like spectacles in boxes in museums, I don’t care what people say about me, I know where my heart is and I will be with my people till the day that I die.’
He added ‘#f**kthecommonwealth’ under his post but added that it was not his intention to criticize Her Majesty.
“I never once said anything terrible about the Queen… I just said a fact about the Royals… that claim they are humanitarian for the planet, that’s all,” he added.
‘And that between princes and museums that have brought Aboriginal human remains to museums…. that they must be returned!!!’
The Indigenous Repatriation Program was established to support the repatriation of ancestral relics and secret sacred objects to their communities.
The program has resulted in more than 1,600 ancient relics being brought back from abroad, over 1,200 of which are from the UK.
In March 2019, the Natural History Museum in London returned 37 sets of Australian Aboriginal ancestral remains.
“We as the people of Australia should unite and fight for them all to be returned to their sacred homeland and not sit on shelves in boxes,” wrote Mr McKenzie.
Many agreed with the artist, praising him for speaking out, while others added that the royal family had no control over what the museums have in store, saying it was instead up to the government.
Many agreed with the artist and praised him for speaking out, while others added that the royal family had no control over what the museums have in store, saying it was instead up to the government