France is ready to return the skulls of 37 Algerian resistance fighters killed in the mid-19th century, President Emmanuel Macron said Wednesday during a visit to Algiers.
Algerian and French intellectuals have been calling for their restitution for years. The skulls are currently stored at the Museum of Mankind in Paris.
The Algerians fought against French colonialism in the 1840s and 50s.
Macron said the decision was made following repeated requests for their return by the Algerian authorities.
"I hope we will revive the relationship with the memorial work between our two countries, that the restitution of the skulls is decided. I will decide it. I am ready," Macron earlier told the Algerian website All About Algeria.
Macron said he was "not a hostage of the past" and wanted to "turn towards our future together".
During this year's presidential election campaign, Macron caused a row in France when he called French colonialism a "crime against humanity" while visiting Algiers.
Algerian War Veterans Minister Tayeb Zitouni said recently that he had great hopes for the restitution in light of Macron's statements during his previous visit.
Zitouni said the return of the fighters’ skulls along with the archives of 130 years of colonization and the Algerian revolution are a "priority" for bilateral relations.