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    Norway Returns Thousands of Ancestral Artefacts to Easter Island (PHOTO)

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    Over 60 years ago, then-teenager Thor Heyerdahl Jr. went on an unforgettable expedition to Easter Island with his adventurous father, bringing home invaluable archaeological treasures. Today, the time has come for the very same Heyerdahl Jr., now pushing 90, to return them.

    During a solemn ceremony at the National Library of Santiago, Thor Heyerdahl Jr. accompanied by the Norwegian royal couple, has returned artefacts he and his father took to Norway for research from Easter Island in 1955, national broadcaster NRK reported.

    The invaluable freight includes up to 3,000 items, including 950 hollow stones, 300-400 stone axes and several skeletons.

    "This was an emotional moment for us. This means that our ancestors return where they belong. We are very pleased that Norway has given back these archaeological objects", Easter Island Governor Tarita Alarcón Rapu said, venturing it was "Christmas multiplied by ten".

    "This was very emotional for me, this is a common joy. My father would probably say the same thing about the objects being brought back", Thor Heyerdahl Jr. told NRK.

    During the 1955 expedition, young Heyerdahl Jr. took one skull from a lava cave with his own hands. Skulls and skeletons of people who had lived several hundred years ago on Easter Island were later scrutinised in Norway, shedding light upon Easter Island's history.

    "DNA analyses of some of the skeletons we have, prove that my father was essentially right that there has been pre-European contact between Easter Island and South America", Heyerdahl Jr. explained.

    Director of the Kon-Tiki museum Martin Bieh, says that the museum has long been in dialogue about the return of the artefats, but that the museum on Easter Island has not wanted things back until now that the museum on Easter Island is ready.

    Thor Heyerdahl Jr. was only 16 years old when he travelled to Easter Island with his famous father, a world-famous adventurer. The tour was a follow-up from the 1947 Kon-tiki journey, where the daring Norwegian would prove that people from South America had populated the islands of Polynesia.

    The Norwegian explorers also dug out several of the island's colossal stone statues, called moai in the local Rapa Nui language. Based on the expedition, Heyerdahl wrote the book "Aku-Aku", which became a bestseller and later a film.

    Easter Island lies in the southeastern part of the Pacific Ocean and part of the Polynesian Triangle in Oceania. It is administered by Chile, but is home to the Rapa Nui people.

    Adventurer Thor Heyerdahl is one of the most famous Norwegians. He rose to fame for his 8,000 km journey across the Pacific Ocean in a hand-built raft. Later, Heyerdahl made other voyages aimed to demonstrate the possibility of contact between widely separated ancient people, notably the Ra II expedition of 1970, when he sailed from the west coast of Africa to Barbados in a papyrus reed boat.


    Thor Heyerdahl's Son to Return Sacred Skulls to Easter Island (PHOTO)
    Beyond Politics, archaeology, culture, Thor Heyerdahl, Easter Island, Chile, Norway
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