Stolen Asante Artefacts Set to Return from UK in April

Stolen Asante artefacts from two museums in the United Kingdom (UK) are expected to be flown into Ghana and finally to Asanteman three months from now.

This was revealed by Mr Ivor Agyeman-Duah, one of Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu’s technical advisors leading negotiations for the return of artefacts stolen by the British during the Sagrenti War of 1874.

He was speaking at the Kuntunkuni Durbar held in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Sagrenti War, which left the entire city of Kumasi in ruins with treasures looted by the British soldiers led by Sir Garnet Wolseley, the Governor of the then Gold Coast.

The event held at the Manhyia Palace on February 8, 2024, saw the handing over of the first batch of the stolen items to the King of Asanteman by the leadership of the Fowler Museum where some of the artefacts ended up after an auction in the UK.

Addressing Asanteman at the durbar as part of the handing over ceremony, Mr Agyeman-Duah said the artefacts from the British Museum and the Victoria & Albert (V&A) Museum in the UK would join the first batch in April 2024 and noted that they would be in Kumasi temporarily unlike the ones already in.

“While we have these returned permanently, the British ones which will get to Kumasi in April, three months from now, will be with us for at least six years. This is more comfortable to say than to say loan.”

The sets from the UK are made up of 15 objects from the British Museum and 17 from the V&A Museum.

The durbar culminated the anniversary of the Sagrenti War after a symposium was held on February 6 at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).

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