NUS Double Header Heritage Matters Launch Event

Apia, Samoa – Wednesday 3rd July 2024

The National University of Samoa will host a special Heritage Matters Launch Event for two historic milestones in their continued efforts to help preserve Samoa’s national cultural heritage.

NUS will be facilitating the Official Handover Ceremony for the prow of a forward head of a taumualua (war canoe) that was unlawfully taken by German soldiers during the 1888 Samoan Civil War. The prow was retained by German Admiral Wilhelm Souchon, who donated it to the Uebersee Museum Bremen in 1932. Due to the wartime conditions of its removal, the Government of Bremen offered to make Restitution by returning the prow, a first for Independent Samoa. Research on the provenance of the prow was collaboratively completed by researchers from both NUS and Uebersee Museum. This event coincides with the official visit of the Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany, Ms. Katja Keul, who will be present at the Handover.

The NUS Centre for Samoans Studies (CSS) will launch the Vaimea Prison Historic & Heritage Report. This month, CSS wraps up a 12-month project funded by the New Zealand High Commission Fund to document the 118-year-old Vaimea Prison, a concrete block building built during the period of German Administration (1900-1914). Vaimea Prison is one of the oldest and rarest built heritage sites in the country, and this is the first full scale heritage assessment conducted by NUS. The Report will be presented to the Government of Samoa, and representatives of the governments of New Zealand and Germany, in the hopes that further efforts to preserve the highly significant site can be collectively explored.

The Heritage Matters Launch Event will take place in concurrent ceremonies on Wednesday, July 10, 2024, at 4pm, at the Niule’a Building on NUS Campus.


For more information please contact: Leilani Smith, Marketing and Communications Officer, NUS, Samoa | Tel. +685: 20072 ext. 283,  E: |

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