Chile to ask British Museum to return extinct mammal remains

November 5, 2018
Chile is asking the British Museum to return the remains of the long extinct melodon

Chile announced on Sunday that it will ask the British Museum in London to return the remains of a mylodon, an extinct mammal that lived in Patagonia about 10,000 years ago.

Minister of National Assets Felipe Ward will travel in two weeks to London for talks over the of the ground sloth that roamed in the southern region shared by Argentina and Chile.

"We hope to have talks with the authorities... and seek to repatriate the mylodon's remains; these are bones and skin that are in storage, not even being exhibited," Ward told reporters.

The remains of the mylodon were taken to Britain in 1897 for research but were never returned to Chile, according to officials.

The mylodon was an ancestor of the sloth that measured about 2.5 meters (more than eight feet) and weighed about 3 tons.

German settlers discovered in 1896 remains of the mammal in a cave now known as "the cave of the mylodon," in the region of Magallanes, about 3,500 kilometers (2,175 miles) south of Santiago

On the trip to London, Ward will be joined by a delegation seeking the return of a statue important to the of Easter Island, part of Chile.

They want to sculpt a replacement for the museum and recover the original, which was stolen from the island in 1868 by the English ship Topaze.

It is estimated that this moai, as the statues are known, was created between the year 1,000 and 1,600.

Chile also plans to ask the Kon-Tiki Museum in Oslo to return a large collection of historical pieces from Easter Island.

Explore further: Researchers uncover genomic info linking extinct giant ground sloth to modern species

Related Stories

Sharp rise of dengue on Chile's Easter Island

February 21, 2016

Chile's remote Easter Island over the past two weeks has seen a dramatic increase in dengue, with a total now of 16 confirmed cases, including one serious enough to require hospitalization.

Burned National Museum in Rio had relics from around world

September 4, 2018

Brazil's National Museum in Rio de Janeiro, which suffered a massive fire late Sunday, boasted the largest archive of historical artifacts and documents in Latin America, some 20 million pieces from around the globe. Museum ...

Recommended for you

Frog choruses inspire wireless sensor networks

January 21, 2019

If you've ever camped by a pond, you know frogs make a racket at night; but what you might not know is how functional and regulated their choruses really are. Frogs communicate with sound, and amid their ruckus is an internally ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet Nov 06, 2018
It should be noted that in 1868 Rapa Nui (Easter Island) was not part of Chile. At that time the island was nearly depopulated.
I hope the British Museum makes the transfers, but it is a bit much to say they were "stolen".

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.