France returned 24 skulls to Algeria, which belong to 19th-century freedom fighters and civilians who were beheaded during France’s 19th-century conquest of Algeria.
The skulls of 24 people were taken as trophies during France’s brutal colonial rule.
But documents from the museum and the French government, which were recently obtained by The New York Times, shows that while six of the skulls returned were those of resistance fighters, the rest were not or were of uncertain origin.
And all have remained France’s property even after they were handed over. Neither government has publicly acknowledged those facts as they seek to wring diplomatic benefit from the restitution.