HOMECOMING: Ursula Tunks and Federal MP for Page Kevin Hogan with paintings by Albert Namatjira's son and two sons-in-law  which   are going back to their rightful owners.
HOMECOMING: Ursula Tunks and Federal MP for Page Kevin Hogan with paintings by Albert Namatjira's son and two sons-in-law which are going back to their rightful owners. Ebony Stansfield

Lost artworks to return home

ALL thanks to a combined effort, paintings by Albert Namatjira's son and two sons-in-law are going back to their rightful owners.

Last Friday, a morning tea was held to farewell Albert Namatjira's son Ewald Namatjira and two sons-in-law, Claude Panka (Pannka) and Edwin Pareroultja artworks, which allowed the community to say their goodbyes to these priceless possessions.

The newly-appointed director of Grafton Regional Gallery Niomi Sands said it's just one of those things you think will never happen but has.

Ursula Tunks, from Mend and Make Do Crew Inc Op-Shop, said returning the artworks is doing the right thing.

Adding it was mostly 'good manners' and it is a blessing to be able to get them home.

It has taken months of planning, with it being more than a year ago since the artworks were donated.

The artworks were donated to the Mend and Make Do Crew Inc Op-Shop in South Grafton.

"March last year I think it was, with a whole palette of other paintings,” Ms Tunks said. "The donor pointed them out to me but said they'd had them appraised but they weren't (Albert's).”

Despite this assurance that they weren't Albert Namatajira's, Ms Tunks couldn't bring herself to put them up for sale in an op-shop.

"I sincerely had no clue what to do with them,” she said.

"Then when the copyright came out at the end of last year I talked to the committee and the treasurer said we could send them home to the family. I thought that is what had to happen.”

Federal MP for Page Kevin Hogan who attended the morning tea said this was a very, very special day.

"These paintings have national cultural significance,” he said.

Mr Hogan said they are currently organising to make sure the paintings are transported and presented in a culturally sensitive way.

The paintings will be kept in a storage facility until the end of next month, then they will transported to their final home.



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