Undark: 3D Printing and the Murky Ethics of Replicating Bones . “TEN YEARS AGO, it wasn’t possible for most people to use 3D technology to print authentic copies of human bones. Today, using a 3D printer and digital scans of actual bones, it is possible to create unlimited numbers of replica bones — each curve and break and tiny imperfection intact — relatively inexpensively. The technology is increasingly allowing researchers to build repositories of bone data, which they can use to improve medical procedures, map how humans have evolved, and even help show a courtroom how someone died. But the proliferation of faux bones also poses an ethical dilemma — and one that, prior to the advent of accessible 3D printing, was mostly limited to museum collections containing skeletons of dubious provenance.”
The Guardian: ‘They’re not property’: the people who want their ancestors back from British museums. “On 20 March this year, more than 150 years after they were cut from the corpse of the Ethiopian emperor Tewodros II by a British soldier, two locks of hair were returned by the National Army Museum in London after a request from Addis Ababa. A few days later, Norway’s King Harald V and Queen Sonja signed an agreement to repatriate thousands of artefacts, including a number of skulls, to the Rapa Nui people of Easter Island. And in April, German institutions will conduct their largest ever transfer of remains to Australia, involving 53 items from five sites in Munich, Stuttgart and Berlin. This follows a ‘joint declaration on the handling of colonial collections’ by ministers from all 16 German states, which argued that human material ‘does not belong’ behind glass.”
The Times: Holocaust victims’ remains found in Imperial War Museum archives. “More than 70 years after they were murdered at Auschwitz, six unknown Holocaust victims will be laid to rest after it was revealed that their remains have lain for decades in the Imperial War Museum archives. Unbeknown to Jewish leaders, the ashes and bone fragments, believed to belong to five adults and a child, have been in storage for more than 20 years since they were bequeathed in the late 1990s by a Holocaust survivor who took them during a visit to the Nazi death camp.” Sometimes I have to stop, take out my handkerchief, and cry for a few minutes.