Berlin museum said it is returning the Stone Cross of Cape Cross, a key cultural artifact, to Namibia. The cross, placed on Namibia’s coast by Portuguese explorers in 1486, is a symbol of the country’s colonial past.
The German Historical Museum in Berlin announced that it is returning to Namibia a 15th century artifact known as the Stone Cross of Cape Cross. The country has called for the object’s return since June 2017.
The artifact was originally erected by explorer Diogo Cao in 1486 on the coastline of present-day Namibia to signify Portuguese territorial claims, as well as serve as a navigational marker. The 1.1 ton, 3.5-meter (11-foot) Stone Cross is emblazoned with the Portuguese coat of arms as well as inscriptions in Portuguese and Latin. Its presence, alongside other such crosses, was so significant as maps at the time. The crosse also gave the coast’s present-day name: Cape Cross.
The restitution planned for August, is a “clear signal that we want words to be followed by deeds.” said Monika Grütters, Germany’s State Secretary for Culture and Media.