Repatriation of human remains

The request was successful.

Maciej Wójtowicz

Dear Sir or Madam

REPATRIATION OF HUMAN REMAINS

I am carrying out some research into the storage, retention and repatriation of non-European ethnological human remains held in UK museums. 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:

1. How many non-European human remains do you have in your collection? If you do not have the exact number, then please provide an approximation based on your normal method of counting.

2. How many requests for the repatriation of non-European human remains did you receive from communities, individuals or institutions outside of Europe prior to the Human Tissue Act 2004 coming into force? Of these how many were approved?

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.

Thanking you in advance for your assistance in this matter.

Yours faithfully

Maciej Wójtowicz

Sue Palmer, Sir John Soane's Museum

Dear Mr Wojtowicz
Thank you for your enquiry under the Freedom of Information Act.

1. We have one example of non-European human remains in the collection.
2. & 3 We have had no requests for repatriation of this item, either before or after the Human Tissue Act of 2004.

Yours sincerely

Susan Palmer FSA
Archivist and Head of Library Services and Freedom of Information Contact
Sir John Soane’s Museum
+44 (0)20 7440 4245
[Sir John Soane’s Museum request email]

Sir John Soane’s Museum, 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3BP | Registered Charity no. 313609

This email and any attachments may contain confidential information and/or copyright material. This email is intended for the use of the addressee only. Any unauthorised use may be unlawful. If you receive this email by mistake, please advise the sender immediately by using the reply facility in your email software and then delete the message. Email sent to Sir John Soane's Museum may be monitored in line with current legislation and good practice.

show quoted sections

Maciej Wójtowicz

Dear Susan

Thank you very much for your prompt reply it is much appreciated. Would you be able to clarify the nature of the one set of human remains in question, the date of acquisition and the country/location of origin if known?

Thanking you in advance

Yours sincerely,

Maciej Wójtowicz

Sue Palmer, Sir John Soane's Museum

Dear Marciej
It is the mummified head of a high status Egyptian male, probably of the 18th dynasty, c.1250 BC. The provenance is unknown, but it was in Sir John Soane's Museum by 1911.

It is not on show to the public, either physically or online, and is stored respectfully and appropriately, in accordance with the 'Guidance for the Care of Human Remains' published by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Yours sincerely

Susan Palmer FSA
Archivist and Head of Library Services
Sir John Soane’s Museum
+44 (0)20 7440 4245
[Sir John Soane’s Museum request email]

Sir John Soane’s Museum, 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3BP | Registered Charity no. 313609

This email and any attachments may contain confidential information and/or copyright material. This email is intended for the use of the addressee only. Any unauthorised use may be unlawful. If you receive this email by mistake, please advise the sender immediately by using the reply facility in your email software and then delete the message. Email sent to Sir John Soane's Museum may be monitored in line with current legislation and good practice.

show quoted sections

Maciej Wójtowicz

Dear Susan

Thanks for letting me know that is very helpful and it sounds like you are doing all of the right things when it comes to this object.

Yours sincerely,

Maciej Wójtowicz