ACCRA, Ghana — Seven royal artifacts looted 150 years in the past by British colonial forces from Ghana’s historic Asante kingdom and saved by a United States museum have been returned and introduced to the dominion on Thursday, the newest of a collection of stolen treasured objects being repatriated to a number of African international locations.
Looted from British-colonized Ghana within the nineteenth century earlier than being transferred to Fowler Museum on the College of California, Los Angeles, within the Sixties, the artifacts included an elephant tail whisk, a decorative chair made from wooden, leather-based and iron, two gold stool ornaments, a gold necklace and two bracelets.
““We’re right here … (as a result of) the white man got here into Asanteman to loot and destroy it,” Otumfuo Osei Tutu, the king of the Assante kingdom in Ghana’s largest metropolis of Kumasi, stated at a presentation ceremony that introduced pleasure and aid to the dominion.
After a long time of resistance from European and Western governments and museums, the efforts of African international locations to repatriate stolen artifacts are paying off with the growing return of treasured items. Activists, although, say 1000’s extra are nonetheless out of attain.
The royal objects have been first obtained by the dominion on Monday, which marked the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of when British colonial forces sacked the Asante metropolis in 1874. That was when 4 of the objects have been looted whereas the opposite three have been a part of an indemnity fee made by the Asante kingdom to the British, the museum stated.
The repatriation of the artifacts to Ghana “signifies the return of our souls,” stated Kwasi Ampene, a lecturer who helped negotiate their return.
All seven objects are being returned unconditionally and completely although the dominion allowed their replicas to be made, the museum added.
“We’re globally shifting away from the concept of museums as unquestionable repositories of artwork, as gathering establishments entitled to personal and interpret artwork based mostly totally on scholarly experience, to the concept of museums as custodians with moral accountability,” stated Silvia Forni, director of the Fowler Museum.
The objects are seen as symbols of status and reverence for the Asante ruler and having them again is a dream come true, in line with Samuel Opoku Acheampong, a workers of the Asante palace.
“Our forefathers and our fathers instructed us concerning the artifacts,” Acheampong stated. “And ever since, as a child, I had the imaginative and prescient that in the future we will have all these artifacts again to our Asante nation.”