Move to have Katherine Mansfield’s bones returned to NZ blocked by English relative

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The mayor of Avon has rejected a bid by Wellington to have Katherine Mansfield’s remains exhumed from the French town and laid to rest in New Zealand.

The eldest relative of Katherine Mansfield has blocked a move backed by Wellington Mayor Justin Lester to have the author’s remains exhumed from her burial site in France.

Englishwoman Janine Renshaw-Beauchamp – Mansfield’s great niece – is understood to have petitioned the mayor of Avon in France after moves by the Katherine Mansfield Birthplace Society in Wellington to get the celebrated author’s bones returned home.

Mansfield was born in Wellington in 1888 but was buried in Avon in 1923 after dying in France from tuberculosis, aged 34.

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Mansfield scholar Lydia Wevers called the move for repatriation a “mad and idiotic suggestion.”

Last week, Lester wrote a letter in support of the society’s move. 

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On Thursday, birthplace society president Nicola Saker confirmed it had received a letter from Avon’s mayor rejecting the proposal.

The wishes of relatives were a consideration…

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