V&A DIRECTOR Tristram Hunt has put himself at odds with the Government by signalling the museum will give back looted Asante gold treasures to Ghana.
Hunt visited Ghana this summer, meeting officials. He writes in the V&A’s latest annual review that he planning long-term loans of the treasures to begin with. The pieces were seized from the town of Kumasi during a British raid in 1874.
“I visited Ghana to begin conversations about a renewable cultural partnership centred around the V&A collection of Asante court regalia” Hunt said. “We are optimistic that a new partnership model can forge a potential pathway for these important artefacts to be on display in Ghana in the coming years.”
A debate in the House of Lords tomorrow will address the National Heritage Act, which museums say hinders their ability to fully return items. Liz Truss said last week she is against returning the Parthenon Marbles to Greece.
Professor Dan Hicks of the University of Oxford welcomed Hunt’s move, telling us it is the “beginning of a conversation” among national museums. The British Museum and others also currently own Asante treasures.
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