Friday, August 21, 2009

Collection Ethics at the Hearst, Part II

"I hope that the bones in Berkeley will be returned to Japan so that they can rest in peace, joining with their fellow victims at Chidorigafuchi," Taira said. "I do not understand why they have to have been humiliated like that as subject of research for such a long time. It certainly lacks respect to the dead."

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Collection Ethics at the Hearst, Part I


August 16, 2009

Japanese war dead skulls at UC museum

Jim Doyle, Chronicle Staff Writer

The skulls and bones of Japanese war dead from World War II's Battle of Saipan are being kept at UC Berkeley in apparent violation of the Geneva Conventions for the protection of war victims, The Chronicle has learned.

The remains of several Japanese soldiers or civilians removed from the island of Saipan in 1945 by a Navy doctor are housed on storage shelves maintained by the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology on the UC Berkeley campus, museum officials have confirmed.

The admission has sparked the fury of international law experts and anthropologists, who say the university has a legal and ethical duty to return the remains to Japan.

Three sets of skeletal remains with skulls, and various bones of three additional Japanese war dead without skulls, are stored in wooden containers in vaults beneath the Hearst Gymnasium swimming pool.


August 19, 2009

State lawmakers tell UC: Return war dead bones

Jim Doyle, Chronicle Staff Writer

State lawmakers have called upon the University of California to immediately return to Japan the skulls and bones of Japanese war victims from World War II's Battle of Saipan that are being stored in an anthropology museum on the UC Berkeley campus.

They also asked UC officials to issue a formal apology to the Japanese government for not only keeping the Saipan remains in the museum's vast collection of skulls and bones, but also for using the remains in scientific research.

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