There is of course a contrarian view. Responding to the BMJ article, a group of UK anthroplogists said,  “apologising for the deeds of others long dead will serve only to salve the consciences of the living whilst having no effect on the deceased. In short, we cannot change the past, but it is fundamental to learn from it. We can only change the future and dropping Charles Byrne’s bones into the sea will help no one – not even Charles Byrne, and certainly not future generations.” (Irish Times) >

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