Thursday, October 25, 2007

Weird News: Volume 1

Indian Politician Killed by Monkeys
The deputy mayor of the Indian capital Delhi has died a day after being attacked by a horde of wild monkeys.
SS Bajwa suffered serious head injuries when he fell from the first-floor terrace of his home on Saturday morning trying to fight off the monkeys.

The city has long struggled to counter its plague of monkeys, which invade government complexes and temples, snatch food and scare passers-by.

The High Court ordered the city to find an answer to the problem last year.

Solution elusive

One approach has been to train bands of larger, more ferocious langur monkeys to go after the smaller groups of Rhesus macaques.

The city has also employed monkey catchers to round them up so they can be moved to forests.

But the problem has persisted.

Culling is seen as unacceptable to devout Hindus, who revere the monkeys as a manifestation of the monkey god Hanuman, and often feed them bananas and peanuts.

Urban development around the city has also been blamed for destroying the monkeys' natural habitat.

Mr Bajwa, a member of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is survived by his wife and a son, according to the Press Trust of India news agency.

Story, pic from BBC News

French Ministry Blocks Return of Mummified Maori Head

photo: Associated Press

For 132 years, the mummified, tattooed head of a Maori warrior has been part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Natural History in the city of Rouen in Normandy.
But when Rouen's mayor arranged to return it to New Zealand as an act of "atonement" for colonial-era trafficking in human remains, the French Ministry of Culture stepped in to block him.

The ministry argues that the human head is a work of art that belongs to France and its return could be an unfortunate precedent for a huge range of the national museum collections - including Egyptian mummies in the Louvre; Asian treasures in the Musée Guimet; and African and Oceanic artifacts in the Musée du Quai Branly.

"The mayor of Rouen made his decision without any consultation, and his decision is against the law," said Olivier Henrard, the legal adviser for the Ministry of Culture. "There are other Maori heads, there are mummies, there are religious relics in France. If we don't respect the law today, tomorrow other museums or elected officials might decide to send them back, too."

Rouen officials insist that the Maori head is a body part, not a work of art, and that according to France's bioethics law it must be returned to its place of origin. "This object reflects the barbaric trafficking in body parts, the belief that another race was inferior to ours," said Catherine Morin-Desailly, the deputy mayor for culture and a senator, who proposed the return of the head. "It belongs to the heritage of humanity, not in storage somewhere in a museum."

Article from International Herald Tribune, read the rest


Drew said...

The idea of fight monkeys with more monkeys is the best idea ever.

Katie said...

I thought that was probably the best part of the story. I can just see the Indian goverment looking around at the hordes of "larger, more ferocious" monkeys and saying "oh... maybe this wasn't such a good idea."