Initial set of repatriated artifacts arrive in Ghana, scheduled for presentation to Otumfuo on Feb. 8

Ghana welcomes the initial set of seven objects looted during the third Anglo-Asante War of 1874, marking a significant step towards cultural repatriation.


The artifacts, which arrived on a United Airlines flight, are scheduled for a formal presentation to the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, on Thursday, February 8th.

This presentation will coincide with the commencement durbar, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the war at Dwaberem, Manhyia Palace leading the delegation of three for the official presentation is Dr. Silvia Forni, Director of the Fowler Museum at the University of California, Los Angeles (where the objects were housed for nearly 60 years).

Accompanying Dr. Forni are Dr. Rachel Raynor, Director of Registration and Collections, Dr. Erica Jones, Curator of the Africa Department, and Professor Kwesi Ampene, an external affiliate and Chair of the Music Department at Tufts University.

The returned objects were originally acquired by the Fowler Museum in 1965 from the Wellcome Trust, a significant foundation overseeing the Wellcome Collection museum and library in Britain. Sir Henry Wellcome, a distinguished British-American art collector and industrialist, is commemorated through the Wellcome Collection.


Ongoing discussions between the Fowler Museum and the Manhyia Palace have spanned several years, leading to the decision to repatriate the objects. The departure of the items from California, under a CITES permit granted in December, paved the way for their permanent return.

Historian Ivor Agyeman-Duah confirmed the development, citing a shift in university policy regarding looted items as a contributing factor to the decision to repatriate. This revised policy enables the return of such items to their original owners.

Agyeman-Duah also announced a new cultural cooperation initiative in progress. The collaboration involves the Fowler Museum and UCLA, the Manhyia Palace Museum, and the College of Art and Built Environment at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.

As envisioned by the Asantehene, who also serves as the University's Chancellor, this initiative marks a step toward fostering cultural collaboration.

The seven objects, dating back to the period before Asantehene Kofi Karkari in the 1840s, include an ornamental chair of wood, brass, leather, and iron; ten large beads used as bracelets or anklets; strands of seed or bug-shaped beads; gold of an elephant hair, glass, and silver; a royal stool ornament; a royal necklace, and a royal stool ornament.


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