Aboriginal spears brought to the UK by Captain James Cook 252 years ago are being returned to Australia. The explorer’s 1770 landing at Botany Bay was resisted by Gweagals – the area’s indigenous people.
Cook took 40 spears from their camp, and they are thought to have been the first artefacts collected by a European from the country. The four that remain are held by Trinity College, Cambridge.
Activists called for their return to Australia, where Gweagal folk use similar multi-pronged fishing spears, for display in a visitor centre.
They will be handed to the Aboriginal community in La Perouse, south-east Sydney.
Noeleen Timbery, the chairman of its Aboriginal land council, welcomed the move, saying: “They are an important connection to our past, our traditions and our ancestors.”
Dame Sally Davies, the master of Trinity, said it was the “right decision”.
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