Africa-Ghana: In Kumasi, the poignant restitution of sacred Ashanti objects, looted 150 years ago

Xalimanews-au Ghana, the 32 Sacred Ashantis objects, stolen by the British colonists in 1874, were temporarily restored by museums in the United Kingdom, reports their exhibition to the museum of the Kumasi Manhyia palace caused a deep emotion and nourished hope for more extensive and lasting restitutions.

150 years ago, British colonists stole sacred objects from Ghana. This May 1, 2024, these treasures finally return to Kumasi, the ancestral seat of the Ashanti kingdom. Loaned by two British museums for an initial period of three years, renewable, these 32 artifacts are now on display for the first time for Ghanaians, in their own country. Their restitution arouses deep emotion among visitors, like Moses Nigande, this professor, native of the North-East of Ghana, who beamed with enthusiasm at the sight of these objects. “It was really impressive,” he exclaimed.L. “I would have really appreciated this type of exhibition being offered across the country, allowing people to learn more. » He added.

Sacred artifacts steeped in history, such as the iconic sword of the Ashanti Kingdom, known as Mpomponsuo, as well as gold regalia used for the purification of the king’s soul, were returned thanks to the leadership of the current Ashanti king, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II. “These objects, stolen and pillaged in 1874, are the guardians of the essence of the Ashanti people,” he says. “Today marks a day of triumph for the Ashanti, but also for all of black Africa. The spirit we preserved and shared is finally back among us. »

However, these artifacts will return to England in a maximum of six years, as stipulated by a British law prohibiting permanent restitution.

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