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Germany to return ancient stone cross to Namibia

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's culture minister says the country is returning to Namibia a centuries-old stone cross, even though it was originally of European origin, as a gesture of reconciliation. Monika Gruetters said Friday the decision to return the Stone Cross of Cape Cross at Namibia's request is a sign Germany takes responsibility for its colonial past.

The limestone stone cross bearing the Portuguese coat-of-arms was erected in 1486 on the coast of today's Namibia to assert the country's territorial claim. It was taken to Germany in 1893 when the area was part of the German colonial empire, and today is on display in the German Historical Museum in Berlin.

The museum says the artifact was once considered to be such an important landmark that it features on old maps of the world.

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