The Australian Federal Government has allocated nearly $228 million to build a new Museum District in Canberra, consisting of outdoor areas and buildings for research and various activities, where ancient artifacts and human remains of indigenous peoples are preserved and returned to Australia. The announcement was made jointly with the Australian Prime Minister, Scott MorrisonAnd from Ken White, the first Indigenous citizen to be elected to the House of Representatives and currently serves as Minister for Australian Indians. The new site will be built symbolically on the grounds of Commonwealth Place, within the so-called “Parliamentary Triangle”, which includes the summits of Capital Hill, with Parliament, City Hill, with Town Hall, and Russell Hill, with the Department of Defense. , connected to Commonwealth Avenue, Constitution Street and Kings Avenue. Also in the area Australia National Gallery and the National Photo Galleryas well as the Aboriginal Embassy, a permanent protest site inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List representing generations of individuals who have fought for equality on behalf of Indigenous Australians since 1972.
The new cultural district, which could make the history of motion picture art, will be called Ngora, which is a home or place of belonging, and a national architectural competition for its construction will be announced which is scheduled to be launched by February 2022. The Ngora site will include a ‘National Area for Repatriated Indigenous Peoples’ From foreign groups and a new headquarters forAIATSIS – Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander StudiesEstablished in 1964 and funded by the government. The AIATSIS Collection of Items and Documents, described by White as “the world’s largest collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island cultural heritage objects,” will be on display at a center for knowledge and research. Largely preserved, the AIATSIS collection includes more than 6,000 works of art and antiques, 5,000 videos, an online database of indigenous Australian languages, 700,000 photographs, and 40,000 hours of audio recordings. The archive continues to grow through donations and purchases, the most recent of which was an opossum skin cloak by an Aboriginal artist. Jenny Kimari Martinello.
But reactions to the project were mixed. A prominent indigenous activist, originally from Tanzania, Michael Mansell He condemned the idea of placing Ngora in the “white man’s seat of power”, that is, in the Parliamentary Triangle. But from the Australian Aboriginal Department, Linda Burnie He said he was “delighted” with the announcement. “I understand what Michael is saying, but the Ngora needs to be highlighted in the nation’s capital and the Parliamentary Triangle. I think it’s really critical,” said Burnie, who also specified that collaboration with Indigenous people would be necessary.
In addition to the site, controversy also arose after an omission in the official press release. Canberra was home to the Ngunawal and Ngambri peoples for more than 20,000 years, but while the former was correctly mentioned, the latter did not appear, causing agitation by representatives of the Ngambri dynasty, who spoke of a “deliberate and abusive” omission.
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