A US museum has returned a batch of royal regalia to Ghana that was looted by British colonial soldiers 150 years ago, marking the first major return of stolen artifacts to the West African nation.
The Fowler Museum at the University of California, Los Angeles said that the items, all royal objects from the Asante Kingdom, were purchased by a US collector and donated to the museum after his death.
Representatives of the museum handed them over to Asante king, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, in the city of Kumasi on Thursday.
The move comes amid growing demand for the repatriation of priceless objects appropriated in colonial times. Nigeria and Ethiopia are among a number of countries seeking repatriation.
The items returned by the Fowler Museum include an elephant tail whisk, two royal stool ornaments, a royal necklace, two strands of beads and an ornamental chair.
Four of them were taking during the 1874 sacking of Kumasi, and three were part of an indemnity payment later made by the Asante Kingdom to the British, the museum said.
“These are objects that connect the present to the past ... the very essence of a civilization,” said Ivor Agyemang Duah, director of the Asante royal museum.
University of Ghana historian Kwaku Darko Ankrah said the return was important for Ghana, but expressed hope that it would also trigger a conversation about how the Asantes came by the items.
“Looting was also one major trait of the Asantes at the height of their supremacy and there is historical evidence of things they looted from other tribes they fought” across Ghana, he said.
Ankrah wants returned items to be identified and the original owners found.
“They [the original owners] also have equitable rights to those items. If they are not identifiable but the Asantes agree they are looted treasures, then the artifacts should become national treasures of Ghana,” he said.
SOUTH CHINA SEA SPAT: The image bolsters a Philippine Coast Guard assertion that Chinese inflatable boats deployed floating barriers at the shoal’s entrance last week Satellite images of the hotly disputed Scarborough Shoal (Huangyan Island, 黃岩島) in the South China Sea show a new floating barrier across its entrance, near where Philippine ships and Chinese coast guard vessels have had frequent run-ins. One of the images taken by Maxar Technologies on Thursday last week and viewed by Reuters showed the barrier blocking the mouth of the shoal, where the Chinese coast guard last week claimed to have driven off a Philippine vessel “illegally intruding” into Beijing’s waters. Manila, which last week deployed a Philippine Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) vessel to patrol the shoal and
Satoshi Kirishima spent almost half a century evading arrest, until mortality intervened. As deathbed confessions go, his was astonishing: Having lived a double life as a construction worker, the 70-year-old was admitted last month to a hospital near Tokyo where he told staff he was one of Japan’s most-wanted fugitives. In a more recent image provided to Japanese media by an acquaintance, it is just possible to discern a resemblance with the black-and-white photograph that has adorned Japanese police boxes for decades showing a bespectacled, smiling university student with shoulder-length hair. While he shared details of his family and his organization that only
CHINA LINKS: A report said that there were concerns about the loyalty of Qiu Xiangguo and Cheng Keding due to their direct contact with entities linked to China Two scientists at Canada’s top infectious disease laboratory lost their jobs after reviews found that they failed to protect sensitive assets and information, and failed to acknowledge collaborations with China, newly released records showed. The scientists, Qiu Xiangguo (邱香果) and her husband, Cheng Keding (成克定), were stripped of their security clearances in 2019 at Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory over questions about their loyalty to Canada, and the potential for coercion or exploitation by a foreign entity, the documents say. More than 600 pages were made public on Wednesday following a special all-party review of the records. The records show that the Canadian Security
‘RUSSIA CANNOT WIN’: The French president declined to say which nations were considering sending troops, saying he prefers to maintain some ‘strategic ambiguity’ French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday said that sending Western troops on the ground in Ukraine is not “ruled out” after the issue was debated at a gathering of European leaders in Paris, as Russia’s full-scale invasion grinds into a third year. The French leader said that “we will do everything needed so Russia cannot win the war” after the meeting of more than 20 European heads of state and government, and other Western officials. “There’s no consensus today to send in an official, endorsed manner troops on the ground, but in terms of dynamics, nothing can be ruled out,” Macron said