In a significant development, stolen Asante artefacts from two museums in the United Kingdom (UK) are poised to be flown into Ghana and ultimately returned to Asanteman, marking a pivotal moment in the ongoing efforts to repatriate treasures looted during the Sagrenti War of 1874.
Mr Ivor Agyeman-Duah, one of Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu’s technical advisors leading negotiations for the return of artefacts, disclosed this groundbreaking news during the Kuntunkuni Durbar held in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Sagrenti War.
The event, held at the historic Manhyia Palace on February 8, 2024, witnessed the symbolic handing over of the first batch of stolen items to the King of Asanteman by representatives of the Fowler Museum, where some of the artefacts had ended up following an auction in the UK.
Addressing the esteemed gathering at the durbar, Mr Agyeman-Duah announced that artefacts from the British Museum and the Victoria & Albert (V&A) Museum in the UK would soon join the initial batch in April 2024, marking a momentous step towards the repatriation of Asante treasures.
He clarified that while the artefacts returned from the UK would be temporarily housed in Kumasi, they would remain in Ghana for at least six years, signifying a significant milestone in the repatriation process.
The sets from the UK comprise 15 objects from the British Museum and 17 from the V&A Museum, adding to the growing collection of repatriated artefacts that hold immense cultural and historical significance for the Asante people.
The durbar served as the culmination of the anniversary of the Sagrenti War, following a thought-provoking symposium held on February 6 at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), further underscoring the importance of preserving and honoring Asante heritage.