Statement from the Penn Museum on the MOVE house remains

The Penn Museum and the University of Pennsylvania apologize to the Africa family and to our community for allowing human remains recovered from the MOVE house to be used for research and teaching, and for retaining the remains for far too long.

The Philadelphia community has experienced profound emotional distress as a result of the recent news that the remains from the horrific 1985 bombing of the MOVE house had been given by the City Medical Examiner’s Office to the Penn Museum for purposes of identification, and that the remains have continued to be kept at the Museum.

We understand the importance of reuniting the remains with the family, and we are working now to find a respectful, consultative resolution.

As part of the actions recently announced in the Morton Collection Committee’s report, we are reassessing our practices of collecting, stewarding, displaying, and researching human remains.

In all of this, we are constantly bearing in mind that human remains need to be treated with the dignity and respect that they deserve.