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UK Museums Return Stolen Asante Gold Artifacts to Ghana after 150 Years

The UK has returned 32 looted gold and silver artefacts to Ghana after they were taken over 150 years ago during conflicts between the British and Asante people.
The items, which were stolen from the Asante king's court, are currently being held in Ghana ahead of their formal return to the current king.

The artefacts are on long-term loan from the Victoria & Albert Museum and the British Museum.

The Manhyia Palace Museum in Kumasi, Ghana, will exhibit returned Asante royal artefacts next month during celebrations for Asante King Otumfuo Osei Tutu II's silver jubilee.

These gold items, including a peace pipe, sword of state, and officials' badges, have spiritual significance as symbols of the Asante royal government and believed to house the spirits of former kings.

The BBC reported earlier this year that long-term loan agreements had been reached for their return from unknown locations.

Nana Oforiatta Ayim, a special adviser to Ghana's culture minister, described the artefacts as "pieces of ourselves returning" and "part of the soul of the nation." The text is about a three-year loan of 17 artifacts, with 15 from the British Museum and 2 from the Victoria & Albert Museum, to the Ghanaian king instead of the government.

The museums are pleased to have the objects returned as part of a cultural collaboration.

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