Joel Gibson, the Indigenous Affairs Reporter for the Sydney Morning Hearld reports:

DEBATE continues over a London auction house’s claim that it has a boomerang collected by Captain James Cook in 1770, which some say would be the world’s most collectable piece of “first contact” Australiana.

But the political campaign to have the boomerang returned to Aboriginal hands goes on.

A senior Christie’s manager flew to Australia from London last week to try to convince interested buyers of its provenance.

The director of Australian art, Nicholas Lambourn, would not reveal who he had met but was “not terribly interested” in the valuation of the Brisbane ethnographer and artefact dealer Arthur Palmer, who last week called it a “leap of faith” to conclude the boomerang was Cook’s; he valued it at $1200.

Christie’s says the boomerang, due on sale September 25, is “likely to have been collected” by Cook and estimates its value at more than $120,000, based on the opinion of the Smithsonian Institution’s Cook expert, Dr Adrienne Kaeppler.