NAMIBIA CALLS FOR RETURN OF CULTURAL RELICS FROM FORMER COLONIAL POWER GERMANY

WINDHOEK-- The Namibian Ambassador to Germany, Andreas Guibeb, has called for the restitution of the "Stone Cross" and other cultural objects such as the Witbooi Bible, to Namibia.

Guibeb made the call during a symposium organized by the German Historic Museum (Deutsches Historisches Museum, or DHM) in Berlin on June 7, according to a media statement received here tuesday from the Namibian Embassy in Germany.

The statement noted that the symposium was convened to explore the topical question of colonial objects and historical injustice.

The Stone Cross of Cape Cross, also known as "the Padro", forms part of the permanent exhibition of the DHM and can be found among German colonial objects dating back to the 19th century, when the country was the colonial power in Namibia, then called South West Africa.

The Cross bears the coat of arms of Portugal, crowned by a cross, and was erected on the coast of Namibia in 1485 by Diogo Cao, knight of the house of King John II of Portugal.

When the Germans declared the territory part of the colony, German South-West Africa, following the 1884 Berlin Conference, the Cross came into German possession and was shipped to the German Empire.

Guibeb highlighted the importance the Stone Cross has for Namibian history, the statement noted. He said these elements form an integral part of history around which a Remembrance Culture could be fostered, noting that the return of such cultural objects will contribute to reconciliation between Namibia and Germany regarding their common past.

He commended the Hamburg, Bremen and Baden-Wurttemberg Federal State governments as well as the other State museums and ethnological institutions that have offered to return remains and cultural objects, like the Hendrik Witbooi Bible and Journals.

Guibeb therefore urged the Deutsches Historisches Museum to do the same with regard to the Padro.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK