Guar Kepah skeletons will be returned from the Netherlands - Tourism Ministry
29 Mar 2023 08:33pm
The 'Penang Woman' skeleton found at the Guar Kepah archaeological site is estimated to be over 5,000 years old.
In a statement today, MOTAC said these skeletons were expected to be returned to Malaysia in 2024 to be kept and exhibited at the Guar Kepah Archaeological Heritage Gallery which is being constructed.
"With the return of the skeletons to the original site where they were found, the Guar Kepah Archeology gallery and site will become one of the main archeology tourism products in the country in addition to being an interpretation centre to convey information about one of Malaysia's archaeological heritages to the public.
"This will also open up space for further research on the skeletons and prehistoric sites of Guar Kepah. It is hoped that the Guar Kepah Archaeological Heritage Gallery will be a must-visit tourism product in conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2025,” according to the statement.
It also stated that a symbolic ceremony to open the box containing the skeletons was held on March 22 at the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science at The Hague in the Netherlands, which was attended by the Malaysian Ambassador to the Netherlands, Datuk Nadzirah Osman and a Penang state delegation led by Deputy Chief Minister II of Penang, Prof Dr P. Ramasamy.
A letter of agreement from the Dutch government to return the skeletons to the Malaysian government was also presented by the director of International Policy, Ministry of Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands, Gerbert Kunst.
"The ministry is very impressed with the speed of this process and praises the decision taken by the Dutch government to return objects of heritage value to the country of origin. It is hoped that this effort will further strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries, especially in the fields of art, culture and heritage.
"Appreciation is also given to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Malaysian Embassy in the Netherlands for all the cooperation given in the effort to return the national heritage treasures to the homeland,” read the statement. - BERNAMA
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