On Wednesday, January 18, museum authorities in Berlin, the capital of Germany, said they were ready to return hundreds of human skulls taken from the former German colony of East Africa, which covered territory including modern-day Rwanda. During their research at the city’s Museum of Prehistory and Early History, scientists examined 1,135 skulls. Of those, 904 could be assigned to areas in present-day Rwanda; 202 to Tanzania; and 22 to Kenya. ALSO READ: Rwandan skulls in German museums: Scientists probe how, why they got there Speaking to The New Times, Rwandan researchers and historians, said there is more Rwandan heritage taken to foreign countries, and efforts are underway to find out where it is. “The RCHA (Rwanda Cultural Heritage Academy) is seeking information on all countries holding Rwandan collections, not only in Europe, but worldwide. This work is progressing well but is not yet complete, said Robert Masozera, the Director General of the RCHA. Masozera noted that much of such heritage is in Europe, especially in Belgium and Germany, and these mainly include both tangible and intangible heritage composed of things like collections from ethnographic and archaeological museums, and remains of Rwandan ancestors (skulls and probably complete bodies). In addition, there are archives, for example written materials, photographic, audio and video documents produced by the colonial administration, army staff, missionaries, explorers, researchers, travelers and traditional authorities. Gerald Nyirimanzi, an experienced historian and lecturer, who is the Chairman of Researchers in Culture and History, a local association of history and culture activists, told The New Times that there are a number of materials that the colonialists took from Rwanda that should be returned. “For example administrative reports that were regularly compiled by the colonial administrators in Rwanda. I think they decided to take materials to Europe because they thought that it would compromise their image,” he noted. In addition to this, he said there is some material written by the colonial press, pictures of sports and more activities that were of interest to the Europeans back in the colonial times, and so on. “We don’t know everything they took. And if they tell us to give them a list of what we require them to return to us, it would be difficult for us to make a full list,” he said. “I think they also took collections related to culture. Colonialism targeted our culture. So, I think materials like royal drums, and more that showed our culture were taken. They wanted to take them to their museums,” he added. Besides Germany and Belgium, Nyirimanzi said that he was informed that there are some Rwandan heritage materials in the United States of America, particularly in the Smithsonian museum. “We don’t know how they acquired them, but a colleague of mine told me he saw some there,” he noted. According to the RCHA, natural collections - zoological, botanical and geological samples, are also expected to be part of Rwandan heritage taken to outside countries. “However, Rwanda does not have an exhaustive list of this heritage. Our institution RCHA is urgently working on this issue,” Masozera noted.