Asante Artefacts From Fowler Museum Arrive

The Paramount Chief of Juaben Traditional Area, Nana Otuo Serebuo II has disclosed that the first set of stolen Asante Artefacts during the Sagrenti War has arrived Ghana.

The seven-piece collection from the Fowler Museum in Los Angeles has touched its home soil for the first time since 1874.

They are the first of two sets scheduled to return home after 150 years of the Sagrenti War.

At a press briefing at the Ashanti Regional House of Chiefs today, Nana Otuo Serebuo, who is Chairman of the Planning Committee for 2024 Anniversaries of Asanteman confirmed the items are in.

They will be presented to Otumfuo on February 8 during an event to mark the War at the Manhyia Palace.

In June 2023, Senior Curator of African Arts in the Fowler Museum at the University of California in Los Angeles, Dr Erica Jones approached the Manhyia Palace with a conversation about returning a seven-piece artefact donated by Wellcome Trust in 1964 with plans for their return laid out subsequently.

Speaking at the presser, Nana Otuo Serebuo said, “Since the enstoolment of Otumfuo, he had dedicated his attention to bringing home these items. The Americans are here with theirs but the ones from the UK are yet to come.”

He said the collections from the UK are expected in the country by the end of April.

About Sagrenti War and Anniversary

In a brief recount at the presser, Nana Otuo Serebuo said the Sagrenti War as it was named by the British was not a war from the Asante’s perspective but rather a backdoor attack as the British stormed the Palace of the then Asantehene in his absence, stole valuables and burnt down the Palace.

As part of events to mark the War, a symposium will be held at the Great Hall of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) on February 6, 2024. Speakers will include Prof. Emmanuel Akyeampong, the Oppenheimer Faculty Director of the Harvard University Centre for African Studies and Professor of History and African and African American Studies at Harvard University, and Dr. Tom McCaskie, the Head of the Centre of West African Studies at Birmingham University.

At noon on the same day at KNUST, a book titled “History of Asante,” authored by Otumfuo Sir Agyeman Prempeh II and edited by Dr. McCaskie, will be launched.

Two days after this, what has been dubbed as “Kuntunkuni” Durbar will be held at Dwabrem at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi, during which the returned items will be officially handed over to the King.

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