Treasures from the Ashanti royal court, looted 150 years ago, return to Ghana


The United Kingdom is preparing to return around thirty objects looted during colonization to Ghana. A loan agreement has just been revealed by the Victoria and Albert Museum and the British Museum. The Ghanaian city of Kumasi will be able to keep them for three years, an agreement renewable once.

From our correspondent in London,

Ghana speaks of a national treasure which is preparing to return to the country: the equivalent of the Crown Jewels for the Ashanti kingdom, from which the colonial troops took these thirty artifacts. There is a ceremonial sword, brooches, jewelry, and headgear.

Almost all objects are made of gold or silver and have a strong symbolic and spiritual value. They were stolen by British troops during the 19th century and are exhibited in two London museums, the British Museum (where we can already see the Rosetta Stone for example), and the Victoria & Albert Museum or V&A. This collection will be exhibited at Manhyia Palace, Kumasi, the residence of the Ashanti King, Osei Tutu II, who will celebrate his silver jubilee this year.

But all these objects, even if they originally came from Ghana, are not returned. British museums are careful to point out this: this is not a definitive return, but a loan, for three years. Moreover, the agreement is concluded with the representatives of the kingdom, who today only have a ceremonial role, and not with the Ghanaian government.

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