Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene, and the British Museum are in talks about the return of priceless gold items that are currently in their custody.
According to a BBC report, the Asantehene’s trip to the UK was in celebration of King Charles III’s coronation. It was also the first time the Asantehene and Dr Fischer, the director of the museum, had ever spoken.
A sizeable collection of antiquities, including a number of pieces captured from the Asante palace at Kumasi during the British War of 1874, can be found in the British Museum.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II declared his intention to preserve such antiques that belonged to his forefathers since he understood the historical and cultural significance of these items to the Asante people. The British Museum is presently looking into the idea of loan artefacts from their collection to Ghana, a spokeswoman for the institution confirmed to the BBC.
“The museum’s director and deputy director were pleased to welcome His Royal Majesty Osei Tutu II, also known as the Asantehene, during his visit to the UK for King Charles III’s coronation.
“The British Museum is exploring the possibility of lending items from the collection to mark the 150th anniversary of the end of the third Anglo-Asante war, as well as to support celebrations for the Asantehene’s Silver Jubilee next year,” she told the BBC.
Otumfuo at King Charles’ coronation
At the London coronation of King Charles, Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II was present. While President Akufo-Addo and the First Lady donned sharp suits for the crowning of King Charles III at Westminster Abbey, Otumfuo Osei Tutu and Lady Julia wore custom Kente.
Relatedly, John Dramani Mahama, Ghana’s former president, has praised the Asantehene, Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu II, for his brilliance and international prominence.
At the most recent Akwasaidae, which took place a week ago, Mahama spoke through a translator to praise Otumfuo for his greatness by mentioning the invitation he received to attend the coronation of the new King of England.
“He (Mahama) knows of your greatness. To the extent that the King of England has invited you to his coronation. People may not know, but he knows of your greatness,” the linguist said as Mahama stood with his head slightly bowed for most of the time.
“He prays that God will take you and bring you back safely and that you continue your progressive steps for Ghana and Asanteman. He came to wish you well, celebrate Akwasidae with you, and seek God’s strength for you, so that you may forever live with them forever,” the linguist added.