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Kampala, Uganda – 5th June, 2024, Uganda Museum

The Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities eagerly anticipates the return of 39 cultural heritage artefacts from Cambridge University on 8 June 2024. These invaluable pieces were taken from Uganda during the 1890s and early 1900s by British colonial administrators, anthropologists, missionaries, and soldiers. They have been housed at Cambridge University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology for more than 100 years.

Uganda is receiving 39 artefacts from Cambridge, a landmark achievement in the ongoing effort to repatriate Africa’s lost heritage. This marks a significant step towards the repatriation of historical objects wrongly acquired during British colonial rule. This is the second time Uganda is receiving its cultural heritage artefacts from Cambridge. The first return occurred in July 1962, during the independence celebrations, when the Kibuuka regalia were repatriated. The Kibuuka showcase at the Uganda Museum is one of the centerpiece artefacts of the museum exhibits that visitors can't miss.

The objects to be received come from the whole of Uganda. Among other things, there is a head-dress made of human hair, acquired from Lango in 1937; beautifully decorated pots from Ankole, acquired in the 1920s; and a Lubaale vessel from Buganda, acquired in 1907.

The Ministry will official hand over the five Sacred Twins (Balongo) belonging to the Buganda Kingdom that would be returned to the community (Wamala Tombs), at a date that will be communicated since these artefacts must be further acclimatized with Ugandan conditions.

We are grateful as a ministry for the funding support extended from the Andrew Mellon Foundation who facilitated the research and transportation of the important Ugandan artefacts back to the communities.

The Ministry will continue to analyse the artefacts at the Uganda Museum and is organizing an exhibition the future when all Ugandans and foreign visitors will see the historical objects returned from Europe. This an important addition to boost tourism and cultural heritage of the country.


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