The long-awaited return of sacred Aboriginal rock carvings removed from Tasmania’s north-west coast some 60-years-ago may finally be over.
The enormous Preminghana petroglyphs, standing about six foot in height, were removed by the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) in the 1960s for display.
In November last year, the Tasmanian government announced the return of the 14,000-year-old rock carvings after Tasmanian Aboriginal community members demanded the stolen art go back to its place of origin.
Now after months of discussion and logistical challenges, the ancient rock art looks set to be repatriated in March, along with a formal apology to Aboriginal people from the Royal Society of Tasmania and the State’s museum on the 15th of February.
Speaking with the ABC, Chair of the Aboriginal Land Council, Michael Mansell said, in the last 200 years no one in the Tasmanian government has ever apologised for the destruction of Aboriginal society.
“This apology from these two very important and significant institutions in Tasmania jumps well ahead of the government” and acknowledges the institutions role in “the destruction of Aboriginal society.”
Michael Mansell speaking with the ABC’s Leon Compton. (ABC News)