Head of State Abdelmadjid Tebboune announced on Thursday in Algiers, during the ceremony of awarding ranks and medals to officers of the ANP, that Algeria will today retrieve the skulls of Algerian resistance fighters from France.
During the ceremony organized on the occasion of the celebration of the 58th anniversary of Independence and Youth Day, President Tebboune announced that the arrival of 24 skulls of Algerian resistance fighters in Algiers, is expected in the coming hours, on board a military plane.
The skulls of the Algerian resistance fighters have been kept for nearly 2 centuries in the Museum of Man in Paris.
Thus, the mortal remains of 24 Algerian resistance fighters to the French colonization will be repatriated Friday from France, on board a plane of the Air Force of the National People’s Army (ANP), more than a century and a half after having been “transferred” to museum structures in France.
This is a first step in the repatriation of the mortal remains of Algerian resistance fighters, announced Thursday the President of the Republic, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, at an official ceremony organized on the occasion of the 58th anniversary of the double anniversary of independence and youth, expressing the State’s determination to continue this operation until the repatriation of all the remains of Algerian resistance fighters to be buried on the land for which they sacrificed themselves.
The celebration of Independence Day this year will be one of the “high points in the nation’s history” in the recovery of the mortal remains of these heroes who faced the brutal French occupation, between 1838 and 1865 and that the savage enemy decapitated them in reprisal before transferring their skulls overseas so that they would not be a symbol of the Resistance to the French occupation, President Tebboune said at a ceremony to award ranks and medals to senior officers of the ANP.
The mortal remains of dozens of Algerian Resistance fighters against French colonization, including those of Chérif Boubaghla (died in 1854) and Cheikh Bouziane of the Zaâtchas (died in 1849), have been found in recent years at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris (MNHN, formerly the Museum of Man).
Some body fragments had been kept at the MNHN in Paris since 1880, when they entered the museum’s “ethnic” collection.
These remains, mostly dry skulls, belonged in particular to Mohamed Lamjad Ben Abdelmalek, known as Chérif “Boubaghla”, Sheikh Bouziane, the leader of the Zaatchas revolt (in the Biskra region in 1849), Moussa El-Derkaoui and Si Mokhtar Ben Kouider Al-Titraoui.
The mummified head of Aïssa Al-Hamadi, who was Chérif Boubaghla’s lieutenant, is part of this discovery. As well as the integral moulding of the head of Mohamed Ben-Allel Ben Embarek, the lieutenant and alter ego of Emir Abdelkader.
The origin, the date of entry into the museum and the identity of the Algerian subjects insurgent against the French authority are recorded in the database of the MNHN in the form: “Donation of Dr Cailliot, 1881-37 Yaya Ben Saïd N6872, a.m.i. skull” or again with regard to the skull of Boubaghla: “Donation of M.Vital, of Constantine, 1880-24, Bou Barla, known as Le Borgne. 5940, s.m.i. skull”.