Beautiful Virgin Islands

Thursday, Feb 22, 2024

Asante King asks British Museum to return gold to Ghana

Asante King asks British Museum to return gold to Ghana

The ruler of Ghana's Asante people has asked the British Museum to return gold items in its collection to his country.

The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, recently met the museum's director Dr Hartwig Fischer for discussions.

The museum's collection includes works taken from the Asante palace in Kumasi during the war with the British of 1874.

The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II (pictured centre), recently met the British Museum's director


The British Museum told the BBC it is "exploring the possibility of lending items" to Ghana.

The Ghanaian ruler met Dr Fischer last week, after attending the Coronation of King Charles.

The British Museum has been under increasing pressure in recent years to return items in its collection to their countries of origin.

The demands by Greece for the return of the Parthenon Sculptures, often still known as the Elgin Marbles, are the most high-profile example in this contested debate.

They were removed by the diplomat and soldier Lord Elgin in the 19th Century and later bought by the British government and placed in the British Museum.

The Parthenon Sculptures were removed from Greece and put on display in London's British Museum in the 19th Century


Restitution issues more commonly apply to countries which experienced colonial conflict.

Ethiopia wants the British Museum to return ceremonial crosses, weapons, jewellery, sacred altar tablets and other items taken from Maqdala in the north of the country during British military action in 1868.

The Nigerian government has also formally asked the museum to return 900 Benin Bronzes.

These beautiful bronze and brass sculptures were created by specialist guilds working for the royal court of the Oba, or King, in Benin City from the 16th Century onwards.

Many were forcibly removed when the British captured the city in 1897.

Benin Bronzes were taken from the ancient city in Nigeria by the British army


Ghana's government has set up a Restitution Committee to look at the return of items taken from the Asante Palace which are now in collections around the world.

Nana Oforiatta Ayim, who sits on that committee, told the BBC: "These objects are largely sacred ones and their return is about more than just restitution. It is also about reparation and repair, for the places they were taken from, but also those who did the taking."

She added that they are looking for a new relationship "not based on exploitation or oppression, but on equity and mutual respect".

Last Thursday's discussions at the British Museum are the first ever meeting between the Asantehene and the museum's director Dr Fischer.

According to the British Museum, the Asantehene requested a loan of items of regalia belonging to his forbears.

The Asantehene visited London last week and met with King Charles before his coronation


In the 19th Century, the Asante state was one of few African states that offered serious resistance to European colonisers.

Its independence ended in 1874 when a British expeditionary force marched into Kumasi in retaliation for an Asante attack two years earlier.

A spokeswoman for the British Museum told the BBC: "Our director and deputy director were pleased to welcome His Royal Majesty Osei Tutu II (the Asantehene) to the museum during his visit to the UK for the Coronation of King Charles III."

This Asante gold neck torc was taken by the British in the 19th Century, and is at the British Museum


She added that the British Museum "is exploring the possibility of lending items from the collection to mark the 150th anniversary of the end of the third Anglo-Asante war, as well as to support celebrations for the Asantehene's Silver Jubilee next year".

For some Ghanaians however, loans can never be a long term solution.

Oforiatta Ayim, who is also a special adviser to Ghana's Culture Minister, said: "Loans can be a first step in that they can open up dialogue in the kind of institutions and structures that are slow to change.

"At the end of the day, objects like the ones taken in 1874 were taken under horrifically violent circumstances… There needs to be honesty, accountability and action".

She added that the objects' homes are "undeniably the places they were taken from" although could then be lent back to British institutions in future.

London's Horniman Museum returned 72 items in its collection to Nigerian ownership last year.

At the time, Nick Merriman, the Horniman Museum director, told the BBC there was a "moral argument" to return them. He said: "We're seeing a tipping point around not just restitution and repatriation, but museums acknowledging their colonial history".

But some of the UK's most renowned institutions, including the British Museum, are prevented by law from making a decision of this kind.

The British Museum Act of 1963 bans the museum from the "disposal of objects" except in very specific circumstances.

It is however free to loan items, if it believes the items won't be damaged.

Newsletter

Related Articles

Beautiful Virgin Islands
London's Iconic British Telecom Tower Sold To Become Hotel
I have a dream, MLK inspiring speech
Ukraine Arrests Father-Son Duo In Lockbit Cybercrime Bust
Aretha Franklin, Marvis Staples - Oh Happy Day
US Offers $15 Million For Info On Leaders Of Cybercrime Group Lockbit
BVI Freedom Song
Russia Claims UK Cultural Agency Spied for Ukraine
Billy Preston - You Can't Beat God Giving (Live)
Apple warns against drying iPhones with rice
VIRGIN ISLANDS REGGAE CARIBBEAN RIDDIMZ
Alexei Navalny: UK sanctions Russian prison chiefs after activist's death
Oh Happy Day Edwin Hawkins - Anthony Brown w FBCG Combined Choir
German economy is in 'troubled waters' - ministry
'Stand by Me' performed by Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir
In a recent High Court hearing, the U.S. argued that Julian Assange endangered lives by releasing classified information.
National Anthem of the British Virgin Islands - Oh, Beautiful Virgin
New video
Hello Dolly
Tucker Carlson says Boris Johnson wants "a million dollars, in Bitcoin or cash, from Tucker Carlson to talk about Ukraine.
for KING & COUNTRY - Amen (Reborn) [feat. Lecrae & The WRLDFMS Tony Wi
Russia is rebuilding capacity to destabilize European countries, new UK report warns
Bob Marley - Get Up Stand Up
EU Commission wants anti-drone defenses at Brussels HQ
Yes He Can
Von der Leyen’s 2nd-term pitch: More military might, less climate talk
What A Friend We Have In Jesus
Global Law Enforcement Dismantles Lockbit Ransomware Operation
Unforgettable
Prince William Urges End to Gaza Conflict
Touch The Hem Of His Garment
UK court to hear Assange's final appeal against extradition to the US, where he faces charges related to his journalistic work—the publication of a classified video in 2010 that exposed US war crimes against humanity.
The Lord's Prayer
About 50-60% kids either chose to be YouTuber or influencer
THE GOD MOVEMENT...BEAUTIFUL BVI
A viral video of Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce lying on a Canberra footpath is celebrated by his media mates.
Siyahamba
European Countries React to Navalny's Death by Summoning Russian Diplomats
Ray Charles And The Voices Of Jubilaton, Oh, Happy Day
Israel has gone ‘beyond self-defence’ in Gaza, says Labour’s Streeting
Ramblin' Rose
English farmers to be offered ‘largest ever’ grant scheme amid food security concerns
Protoje - Who Knows ft. Chronixx
Cameron government knew Post Office ditched Horizon IT investigation
Pressure - Virgin Islands Nice
EU Calls for Immediate Ceasefire in Gaza Conflict
Phil Wickham - House Of The Lord
EU Vows To Hold Putin "Accountable" After Meeting Alexei Navalny's Wife
My God Is Real (Yes, God Is Real)
EU Launches Probe Into TikTok Over Child Protection Under Digital Content Law
The Lion King Circle of Life by LEBO M. — LIVE at the HAVASI Symphonic
The EU Initiates Naval Mission to Defend Red Sea Trade Routes
Louis Armstrong - When The Saints Go Marching In
EU and UK Announce Joint Effort on Migration
Kanye West Sunday Service - hallelujah, salvation, and glory
Brazil's Lula Likens Gaza Operation to Holocaust, Israel Says "Red Line" Crossed
Jonathan Nelson - I Believe (Island Medley
Ministers Confirm Proposal to Prohibit Mobile Phone Usage in English Schools
From The Virgin Islands Sqad Up
Microsoft-backed OpenAI valued at $80bn after company completes deal
Common, John Legend - Glory
‘Alexei would want to tell Russia not to give up fighting’
Anthony Evans vs. Jesse Campbell - If I Ain't Got You
Rwandan Footballer's Dismissal Sparks Concerns Over UK Asylum Plan
I have a dream, MLK inspiring speech
Whisky Challenges China's Baijiu Market During New Year Celebrations
Aretha Franklin, Marvis Staples - Oh Happy Day
Avdiivka - Symbol Of Ukrainian Resistance Now In Control Of Russian Troops
BVI Freedom Song
Putin Critic Alexei Navalny's "Killers" Refusing To Hand Over Body, Say Allies
Billy Preston - You Can't Beat God Giving (Live)
"Historic Step": Zelensky Signs Security Pact With Germany
VIRGIN ISLANDS REGGAE CARIBBEAN RIDDIMZ
"Historic Step": Zelensky Signs Security Pact With Germany
Oh Happy Day Edwin Hawkins - Anthony Brown w FBCG Combined Choir
20 Tech Giants Sign Effort To Fight AI Election Interference Across Globe
'Stand by Me' performed by Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir
Joe Biden Accuses Putin of Causing Navalny's Death
National Anthem of the British Virgin Islands - Oh, Beautiful Virgin
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
Hello Dolly
Tucker Carlson grocery shopping in Russia. This is so interesting.
for KING & COUNTRY - Amen (Reborn) [feat. Lecrae & The WRLDFMS Tony Wi
Julian Assange's Wife Warns of His Death if Extradited to US
Bob Marley - Get Up Stand Up
‘A lot higher than we expected’: Russian arms production worries Europe’s war planners
Yes He Can
Greece Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage and Adoption Rights
What A Friend We Have In Jesus
Hungarian Foreign Minister: Europeans will lose Europe, the Union's policy must change drastically
Unforgettable
In Britain Homeowners are receiving CPO’s (Compulsory Purchase Orders) so their homes can be redistributed to migrants
Touch The Hem Of His Garment
Microsoft says it caught hackers from China, Russia and Iran using its AI tools
The Lord's Prayer
Influencers Exploit X Platform for Profit Amidst Israel-Gaza Conflict
THE GOD MOVEMENT...BEAUTIFUL BVI
Former Dutch PM And Wife Die "Together Hand In Hand" Via Duo Euthanasia
Siyahamba
Media Giant Paramount Global, Which Owns CBS News, To Cut 800 Jobs
Ray Charles And The Voices Of Jubilaton, Oh, Happy Day
×