Four spears taken by Captain James Cook on his arrival in the country have been returned to the community they were stolen from.

In a ceremony held at Trinity College in Cambridge, the four spears were permanently repatriated to the La Perouse Aboriginal Community.

They are all that remain of 40 spears that Cook recorded as having been taken from the Gweagal people of the Dharawal Nation.

It comes seven years after an initial request was refused, partly over concerns about housing and conserving the spears.

They will be put on display at a new visitor centre which will be built at Kurnell in Sydney’s south.

La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council chairperson Noeleen Timbery told the ABC she hopes the return inspires other communities.

The spears were returned in a ceremony in Cambridge, UK. Image: Jenny Magee

“I hope that other communities look at what we’ve done and they see that they can do it too. I really hope that other museums are able to look at this process and see how beneficial it is for both sides and that they’re able to see the value in being able to work with a community hand-in-hand.”