By Muyid Deen Suleman /Emmanuel Amponsah
Kumasi, Feb. 8, GNA – The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Thursday received the first batch of the objects and artefacts looted from the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi during the Sargrenti War in 1874.
The objects, which were returned from the Fowler Museum of the University of California, USA, were presented by Dr Sylvia Fowler, the Director of the Museum, who led a delegation to Kumasi.
The items were being returned after extensive diplomatic negotiations and lobbying by the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Dr Fowler told the gathering of chiefs and people of Asanteman during the ‘Kuntunkuni’ durbar to commemorate the Sargrenti war at the Manhyia Palace,
She said after critical analysis and diplomatic relationships, the board and management of the museum found it important to return some of the objects and artefacts to the Asante Kingdom, after 150 years.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu, sitting in state at the durbar, could not hide his joy for the return of the artefacts after many years of diplomatic negotiations and engagements.
Beaming with smiles, Otumfuo Osei Tutu looked closely at some of the objects and commended the delegation for the honour done him.
The treasures, which were stolen by the British colonialist during the war, had been kept in British and America museums for the past 150 years.
Many prominent people from Africa and of African descent had, over the years, called for the unconditional return of these creative treasures to their original owners.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu, who is celebrating the 25 years of his installation as the 16th occupant of the Golden Stool, had for many years engaged the British Monarch and Government, as well as the museums keeping the items, to return them to the Stool.
The return of the artefacts is, therefore, a joyous moment for the king, the chiefs and people of Asantemen (Asante Kingdom), who see these objects as part of their spirit and soul.