European Association of Vertebrate Palaeontologists
On Sunday, 7 May 2023, an article was published in the Brazilian newspaper Folha de São Paulo – reiterated in Nature (12 May 2023) – indicating that “Ubirajara jubatus“ would finally be repatriated to the Museu do Cariri in Brazil On Sunday 4th June 2023, as per the initial discussions between professors Kellner & Frey in February 2021. The final destination was confirmed after dialogues between the Brazilian Ministries of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI) and of Foreign Affairs, the German Embassy in Brazil, and the Regional University of Cariri (URCA-CE) (MCTI, 16 May 2023). The EAVP warmly welcomes this news. However, it rejects the dearth of transparency in the whole process, and the lack of active involvement of scientists and museum staff – both from Brazil and Germany – in it. The Association firmly opposes this lack of transparency, which has resulted in misleading and conflicting narratives, adding to the uncertainty around a resolution to this issue.
Over the last few years, the EAVP’s ethics committee has carried out research into this process, contacting people in both countries and confirming that palaeontologists and curators have been excluded from most of it. With this statement, the EAVP calls for the active involvement of researchers and museum workers in all future repatriation processes, following the example of protocols already in place at other institutions.