Asantehene Throws Challenge to Young Artists in Ghana

The Occupant of the Golden Stool, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has challenged student artists and young artisans to rise to the occasion and make priceless artworks that surpass the value and elegance of their forbearers.

Speaking at the Asante Regalia Homecoming and Photo Exhibition, dubbed, “Homecoming, Adversity and Commemoration”, an event to mark the return and exhibition of some Asante crafts looted from the Palace of an Asante King, on May 1, 2024, His Majesty admired the elegance and magnificence of Asante traditional crafts of old.

He stated that these works were created by either Asante royal artisans or blacksmiths known in the local language as “dwomfour” who undoubtedly were illiterates.

“Are we able to do that in this modern day? In 1874 and earlier on, if artisans who had not gone to school were able to create this, why can’t we do this now?”

His Majesty is confident Ghanaian artists are capable of creating more invaluable artworks than the ones of old and has thus challenged the students to rise to the occasion and the expectations.

“That is a challenge to our students, our young people and all that to be able to be creative {more than these}.”

The event was held at the Manhyia Palace to welcome 39 new artefacts returned from three museums and are currently displayed inside the Museum for the public.

The items include a 300-year-old original Mponponso sword by which every Asantehene swore the oath of office and used by the paramount chiefs of Asante to swear their oath of allegiance before the Asantehene and a seat owned by Asantehene Kofi Karikari, the tenth King of the Asante Kingdom.

They also include one gold peace pipe, a gold knife, three cast gold soul-washers’ badges, seven sections of sheet-gold ornament, one silver straining spoon, one pair of silver anklets and one section of sheet-gold ornament.

The British and the V&A Museums are loaning the 15 and 17 treasures respectively on an initial three-year agreement. This is renewable for another three years.

The British Museum Act 1963 prohibits their museums from removing an artefact from its collections unless it is a duplicate, damaged or unfit.

Meanwhile, the ones from the Fowler Museum- seven pieces- are home on a permanent basis.

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