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Independent AfricaUnited States museum returns stolen artifacts to Ghana


United States museum returns stolen artifacts to Ghana

The Asantehene, the king of Ghana’s traditional Asante kingdom, has been presented with seven royal artifacts that were looted from the kingdom nearly 150 years ago.

These items were repatriated from the Fowler Museum, located at the University of California in the US, and formally handed over to King Otumfuo Osei Tutu II during a ceremony held on Thursday.

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Among the returned artifacts are a gold necklace, an ornamental chair, two gold stool ornaments, and two bracelets.

Also included is an elephant tail whisk, described by Erica P Jones, the senior curator of African arts at Fowler Museum, as “a ceremonial piece that is held by someone of incredibly high status.”

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These items had been housed at the Fowler Museum since 1965 but were originally looted by British forces from the Asantehene’s Manhyia Palace in Kumasi, southern Ghana, back in 1874.

The repatriation of these artifacts comes shortly after the British Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum in the UK agreed to loan back 32 items that were similarly looted from the kingdom, mainly during the 19th Century.

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