Repatriation of human remains

Maciej Wójtowicz made this Freedom of Information request to Luton Borough Council as part of a batch sent to 265 authorities

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Luton Borough Council Nid oedd gan y wybodaeth y gofynnwyd amdani.

Dear Sir or Madam


I am carrying out some research into the storage, retention and repatriation of non-European ethnological human remains held in UK regional museums or archives some of which are owned, managed or funded by UK local authorities.

To assist with this could you please let me have the following information under the Freedom of Information Act. All of these questions relate to human remains that are under 1,000 years of age. If your organisation is not covered by the Freedom of Information Act please consider supporting this research anyway and providing the information voluntarily. A link to the research will be provided to all contributers when it is published:

1. How many non-European human remains do you have in your collection or collections managed by organisations which you fund or control? If you do not have the exact number then please provide an approximation based on your normal method of counting.

2. How many human remains do you have in your collection which originated in:
a. Canada
b. New Zealand
c. Australia

3. How many requests for the repatriation of human remains have you had from communities, individuals or institutions outside of Europe since the Human Tissue Act 2004 came into force?

4. Of these requests, how many were:
a. Approved in full, with all of the requested remains being returned to the communities/individuals in question.
b. Approved in part with some of the requested remains being returned.
c. Not approved.
d. Still awaiting a decision.

5. For those requests which were not approved please provide a copy of the final decision letter setting out the reasons.

6. How many human remains have you repatriated to their country of origin proactively without receiving a request?

Thanking you in advance for your assistance with this important research project which should help to reconnect numerous Indigenous communities with their lost ancestors.

Yours faithfully

Maciej Wójtowicz

LBC Feedback, Luton Borough Council



Dear sir or madam,


Further to your request please be advised that we do not hold this
information as any remains would be local and not non-European.


Kindest regards

Complaints and Information Governance Team

Business Intelligence Unit

Luton Borough Council

Town Hall, LU1 2BQ

Phone; 01582 546398

Email: [email address]






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