The newly opened Weltmuseum in Vienna has come under fire for displaying a severed head from Brazil—a war trophy that had belonged to the Munduruku people.

Many scholars criticised the presentation, saying that the museum gave neither information about the person to whom the head once belonged, nor on how it had come to Europe. The museum argues it is following International Council of Museums (Icom) guidelines, but has agreed to improve the information it provides on the object.

“These trophy heads are objects designed for public presentation,” says Claudia Augustat, a curator at the Weltmuseum. “From the point of view of the Munduruku, there is no objection to presenting them in an exhibition. I am well aware that the descendants of the group from which the head was acquired could see this differently. But the origins of the trophy head are not known.”… read more 

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