Stone cross to be returned to Namibia, erected by Diogo Cão in 1486 at Cape Cross ,Namibia, removed in 1893 by German sailors and brought to German Historical Museum ,Berlin.
Germany is returning to Namibia a navigation landmark, a stone cross, padrão, which the Portuguese seafarers under Diogo Cão erected in 1486 when they reached Namibia. The navigators were under instructions from their king to erect such stone crosses wherever they reached new land. The stone cross served to indicate Portuguese sovereignty and presence. We leave aside the arrogance involved in sailing to somebody’s land and claiming it as yours. The Germans removed the stone cross in 1893 when they were in charge of the area then known as South West Africa as a result of the notorious Berlin Conference of 1884.
Press and media have been full of reports on this gesture of the Germans. (1) At the handing over of the stone cross that had been in the Museum of German History, President of the museum’s foundation, Raphael Gross, declared that this restitution was an important event for both Namibia and the museum, that would serve as “recognition of historical injustice”. “In this respect, it can act as an intervention that allows a new chapter to be opened up in the consideration of the common history of both Germany and Namibia.”
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