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Germany hands over two Indigenous masks to Colombia as it reappraises the past

BERLIN (AP) – Germany handed over to Colombia on Friday two masks made by the Indigenous Kogi people that had been in a Berlin museum’s collection for over a century, another step in the country’s restitution of cultural artefacts as European nations reappraise their colonial-era past.

The wooden ‘sun masks’, which date back to the mid-15th Century, were handed over at the presidential palace during a visit to Berlin by Colombian President Gustavo Petro. The decision to restitute them follows several years of contacts between Berlin’s museum authority and Colombia, and an official Colombian request last year for their return.

Two masks of the indigenous community of the Kogi from the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in Colombia displayed at German President residence Bellevue Palace in Berlin. PHOTO: AP