Officials gathered Wednesday for a signing ceremony to formally announce the repatriation of 30 "vigango" carved wooden statues.
Vigango are created by the Mijikenda community as memorials to departed elders. The statues are believed to bring good luck and prosperity to the community.
"While the museum deeply regrets any hardship this collection has caused, we're very grateful to have the opportunity to bring this return to a positive conclusion,” George Sparks, DMNS president, says.
Denver and Nairobi are partnered through the Sister Cities International program, which helped broker the transfer. While the museum has no legal obligation to return the vigango, Denver officials say the move will help strengthen ties with Kenya. They will be stored at the National Museums of Kenya, which will facilitate returns to the source communities.
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