Asanteman Welcomes Looted Artefacts With Grand Durbar, Bawumia And Mahama Lead High Profile Guests

Asanteman Welcomes Looted Artefacts With Grand Durbar, Bawumia And Mahama Lead High Profile Guests

  • A grand durbar has been held to receive artefacts looted by the British during the third Anglo-Asante war
  • The items are being returned in an agreement between the Victoria & Albert Museum, the British Museum, and the Manhyia Palace museum
  • The items made up of gold and silver will be displayed at the Manhyia Palace Museum in Kumasi later in 2024

Asanteman gathered at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi on Thursday to welcome back some of the looted Asante artefacts taken 150 years ago by the British.

Thirty-nine of the Asante royal regalia and objects looted by British troops during the third Anglo-Asante war of 1874 are coming from the Fowler Museum of the University of California in Los Angeles.

Asanteman gathered to welcome 1874 Sagrenti War looted artefacts
A grand durbar was held to welcome the artefacts. Source: Graphic Online
Source: UGC
Asanteman durbar
John Mahama was present at the durbar. Source: Graphic Online
Source: UGC

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The grand durbar of chiefs was attended by Ghana's political hierarchy, including Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia, Former President John Mahama and Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin.

The items were handed over to Asanteman at the grand durbar of chiefs at the Manhyia Palace.

A second batch of 32 will arrive in April from the British Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum.

The BBC reported that a gold peace pipe is among 32 items being loaned back to Ghana for three years.

The items also include a sword of state and gold badges worn by officials.

There is an option to extend the loan agreement for another three years.

The agreement is with the Asantehene, Otumfo Osei Tutu II, and not the state.

In May 2023, on a visit to the UK, the Asantehene told the British Museum to return gold items looted from the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi.

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At the time, aside from meeting King Charles, he also met the director of the British Museum for discussions on how the items could be returned to Ghana.

This was after the UK returned a Benin Bronzes collection to Nigeria.

The items being loaned were mostly taken during past wars between the Asante and British during colonial times.

The collections will form part of an exhibition planned to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of the Asantehene.

The return is also to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the 1873-4 Anglo-Asante war and the 100th anniversary of the return of the Asantehene Prempeh I from exile in the Seychelles.

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