UK Returns Looted Artifacts to Ghana

UK Returns Looted Artifacts to Ghana
Image copyright: Claire H. via Wikimedia Commons

The Facts

  • The UK has returned, by way of a long-term loan, 32 royal artifacts from the Asante Kingdom to present-day Ghana, more than 150 years after they were looted during the Anglo-Asante wars.

  • The return follows the signing of a loan deal between the British Museum (BM), the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), and the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the current traditional ruler of the Asante people.

The Spin

Narrative A

This loan is an acknowledgment by the UK of the artifacts' spiritual and cultural significance to the Asante people. Although the objects form only a part of the Asante collections, this loan includes most of the key works to right some of the wrongs of Britain's colonial past.

Narrative B

This is a welcomed first step, but it must be seen as a first step toward the full-time return of the artifacts, otherwise, this is an embarrassment. The wounds of the past will only really begin to heal once the Asante cultural heritage returns to Ghana for good.

Nerd narrative

There's a 1% chance that Kwasi Kwarteng will become UK Conservative Party Leader before Jan. 1, 2030, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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