The First Set Of Stolen Asante Artefacts Has Arrived

According to the Paramount Chief of Juaben Traditional Area, Nana Otuo Serebuo II, the first set of stolen Asante artifacts from the Sagrenti War has arrived in Ghana.

The seven-piece collection from the Fowler Museum in Los Angeles has touched its home soil for the first time since 1874.

After 150 years of the Sagrenti War, they are the first of two sets that are expected to return home.

Nana Otuo Serebuo, the Chairman of the Planning Committee for the 2024 Asanteman Anniversaries, confirmed the items at a press briefing at the Ashanti Regional House of Chiefs.

They will be introduced to Otumfuo on February 8 during an event to mark the war at the Manhyia Palace.

Dr. Erica Jones, Senior Curator of African Arts at the Fowler Museum at the University of California, Los Angeles, approached the Manhyia Palace in June 2023 to discuss returning a seven-piece artifact that had been donated by the Wellcome Trust in 1964, with subsequent plans for their return.

Speaking at the press release, Nana Otuo Serebuo said,

“Since the enstoolment of Otumfuo, he had dedicated his attention to bringing home these items. The Americans are here with theirs but the ones from the UK are yet to come.”

He said the collections from the UK are expected in the country by the end of April.

In a brief recount at the presser, Nana Otuo Serebuo said the Sagrenti War as it was named by the British was not a war from the Asante’s perspective but rather a backdoor attack as the British stormed the Palace of the then Asantehene in his absence, stole valuables and burnt down the Palace.

Asantehene’s 25th Anniversary Celebration: The Date And Venue Out

As part of events to mark the War, a symposium will be held at the Great Hall of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) on February 6, 2024. Speakers will include Prof. Emmanuel Akyeampong, the Oppenheimer Faculty Director of the Harvard University Centre for African Studies and Professor of History and African and African American Studies at Harvard University, and Dr. Tom McCaskie, the Head of the Centre of West African Studies at Birmingham University.

At noon on the same day at KNUST, a book titled “History of Asante,” authored by Otumfuo Sir Agyeman Prempeh II and edited by Dr. McCaskie, will be launched.

Two days later, the so-called “Kuntunkuni” Durbar will take place at Dwabrem at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi. During this event, the items that were returned will be officially given to the King.

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