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UK Returns Stolen Asante Treasures to Ghana on Six-Year Loan

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UK Returns Stolen Asante Treasures to Ghana on Six-Year Loan

(CTN News) – According to Ghanaian negotiators, the United Kingdom has returned 32 gold and silver valuables stolen from the Asante Kingdom over 150 years ago in what is now Ghana on a six-year loan.

The artifacts, which included 15 from the British Museum and 17 from the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), were plundered from the Asante king’s court during the stormy 19th-century confrontations between the British and the Asante people.

Asante Treasures Returned to Ghana from UK Museums

Ghanaian officials have spent years attempting to restore gold treasures taken by British soldiers from the Asante empire, now known as Ashanti.

The treasures, including gold and silver regalia associated with the Asante Royal Court, will be displayed at the Manhyia Palace Museum in Kumasi, the Ashanti region’s capital, as part of a yearlong celebration commemorating the king’s silver jubilee.

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The main negotiator, Ivor Agyeman-Duah, verified the return of the goods, telling the Al Jazeera news agency on Saturday that they were loaned to the palace.

It comes as international pressure grows for museums and organizations to reclaim African antiquities from former colonial countries.

Nigeria is also negotiating the return of hundreds of 16th to 18th-century metal pieces taken from the ancient kingdom of Benin and now owned by museums and art collectors in the United States and Europe.

Two years ago, Benin received two dozen valuables and artworks seized by French colonial forces during the 1892 assault on Abomey’s royal palace.

“These cherished artefacts, which hold immense cultural and spiritual significance for the Ashanti people, are here as part of a loan agreement for an initial three years and renewable for another three,” she said.

“It marks a significant moment in our efforts to reclaim and preserve our heritage, fostering a renewed sense of pride and connection to our rich history,” he noted, noting that the show will be open beginning May 1.

The returned objects include a 300-year-old Mponponso sword used in swearing-in rituals.

The V&A proposes to lend 17 pieces to the Ghanaian museum, including a gold peace pipe and gold discs worn by officials in charge of cleansing the king’s soul.

The British Museum’s collection consists primarily of royal regalia seized from Kumasi’s palace during the Anglo-Asante wars.

The objects will be loaned on two different three-year terms.

Arsi Mughal is a staff writer at CTN News, delivering insightful and engaging content on a wide range of topics. With a knack for clear and concise writing, he crafts articles that resonate with readers. Arsi's pieces are well-researched, informative, and presented in a straightforward manner, making complex subjects accessible to a broad audience. His writing style strikes the perfect balance between professionalism and casual approachability, ensuring an enjoyable reading experience.

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