Asanteman gathered at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi on Thursday with a grand durbar of chiefs to welcome back home, some of the looted Asante artefacts 150 years ago.
After 150 years, 39 of the Asante royal regalia and objects looted by British troops during the third Anglo-Asante war of 1874, popularly known as Sagrenti War, are returning to the Asantehene in Kumasi.
The first batch of seven treasures from the Fowler Museum of the University of California in Los Angeles is already in Kumasi and is being handed over to Asanteman at the grand durbar of chiefs at the Manhyia Palace.
The second batch of 32 will arrive from two leading cultural institutions in the United Kingdom – the British Museum and the Victoria & Albert (V&A) Museum – in April. They are expected to be also received at an official durbar of chiefs in May 2024.
The collections, which range from the original sacred Mponponsuo state sword dating back to 300 years to other ornaments of silver and gold, come under two separate agreements.
The Mponponsuo sword is what all Asantehenes traditionally swore their oath of office and paramount chiefs their allegiance to the Asantehenes.
Dubbed “Kuntunkuni Durbar”, it started with a display by traditional priests at the Manhyia Palace as part of the 150th anniversary of the Sagrenti War.