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UK returns looted Asante Kingdom artefacts to Ghana


UK returns looted Asante Kingdom artefacts to Ghana

The United Kingdom has returned 32 royal artefacts looted from Ghana’s Asante Kingdom in the 19th Century.

The royal objects were taken from the Palace in Kumasi during the Anglo-Asante Wars, including the infamous Sargrenti War of 1874.

They were returned on Tuesday by the British Museum (BM) and the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A).

The 150-year-old, mostly golden royal regalia, will be on loan for an initial three years and renewable for another three years.

The loan deal is not with the Ghanaian government but with Otumfo Osei Tutu II – the current traditional ruler of the Ashanti people.

Legal restrictions in the UK have made it impossible to return the artefacts permanently.

The return of the artefacts coincides with the silver jubilee anniversary of Asantehene Osei Tutu II, who first started the negotiations in May last year.

“Gold and silver regalia, associated with the Asante royal court, will be displayed at the Palace Museum as part of a long-term loan commitment by the Victoria & Albert and the British Museum,” the Asante Palace said in a statement.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II will receive the objects in specially designed Belgian cases in Kumasi, after which the Manhyia Palace Museum will be closed for three weeks for installation works and encasing.

The gold artefacts are the symbol of the Asante traditional authority.

Many of these items will be seen in Ghana for the first time in 150 years. The items include 15 pieces from the British Museum and 17 from the Victoria & Albert Museum.

They will be on display and open to the public in May.

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